Redwood Materials Creates the First Pathways for End-of-Life Electric Vehicles

February 18, 2022

3 Min Read
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Redwood is launching the most comprehensive electric vehicle battery recycling program, beginning in California, to establish efficient, safe and effective recovery pathways for end-of-life hybrid and electric vehicle battery packs. Ford Motor Company and Volvo Cars are the first automakers to directly support the program, but we will accept all lithium-ion (Li-ion) and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries in the state and welcome other automakers to join us in this effort!   

To truly make electric vehicles sustainable and affordable, we need to create pathways for end-of-life battery packs to be collected, recycled and remanufactured into new battery materials. Scaling production of EVs, increasingly from recycled materials, domestically, is the only way we can create a circular and, therefore, sustainable and secure supply chain to meet the US’ electrification plans. While the first major wave of end-of-life electric vehicles is still a few years away, Redwood and our initial partners at Ford and Volvo are committed to creating these pathways now.  

Annually, 6 GWh of lithium-ion batteries or the equivalent of 60,000 EVs, come through Redwood’s doors - most of the recycled lithium-ion batteries in North America today. We’ve been ramping our processes in preparation for the first wave of these vehicles to come off roads and we’re ready to support the battery market in identifying and creating pathways to collect battery packs.  

California has always been a leader in the transition to electric transportation and, as a result, is the oldest and one of the largest electric vehicle markets on earth. When the first major wave of EVs begins to retire from roads, it will happen in California.   

When we first announced our partnership with Ford last year, we shared that our initial workstream was to collaborate to determine how we can create pathways together for Ford and Lincoln electrified vehicles to come off the road at the end of their lives and be recycled and manufactured into battery materials to make more, locally manufactured, electric vehicles.  Volvo, while a new relationship, is similarly focused on ensuring responsible and secure pathways for end-of-life batteries.    

We will work directly with dealers and dismantlers in California to identify and recover end-of-life packs. Redwood will then safely package, transport, and recycle these batteries at our facilities in neighboring Northern Nevada, and then return high quality, recycled materials back into domestic cell production. Overtime, as end-of-life packs scale, we expect these batteries to become valuable assets that will help make EVs more sustainable and affordable.  

Our goal is to learn and share those learnings with the industry. We will demonstrate the value of end-of-life packs today and how we can steadily improve those economics as volumes scale up. Ultimately, our aim is to create the most effective and sustainable closed-loop system that physics, and chemistry will allow for end-of-life battery packs to re-enter the domestic supply chain. We look forward to working with the State of California, dismantlers, dealers, and other automakers and hope to be a resource, sharing our results and learnings as we go. 

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