Battery recycling startup Redwood Materials reached a landmark deal last month to supply enough cathode material to Panasonic to power 1 million electric vehicles.
When Panasonic's Kansas battery factory starts production in 2025, it will be the first time cathode material has been produced at gigafactory scale in North America and used in U.S. battery cell manufacturing, according to Redwood Materials. And that's just the beginning of the startup's plans. By 2030, the Carson City, Nev., company projects it will produce enough anode and cathode material to supply 5 million EVs.
Redwood Materials is the brainchild of JB Straubel, the longtime chief technology officer at Tesla who left to focus on his recycling startup in July 2019. Long before others, Straubel foresaw a looming shortage of battery materials in the fledgling electric-vehicle era. He posited that recycling was one way to narrow the gap. Today, Redwood Materials is working with the likes of Panasonic, Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford and Volvo on a variety of projects.