Redwood Materials, a recycling venture founded in 2017 by Tesla’s former Chief Technology Officer and cofounder JB Straubel, received a conditional loan of $2 billion from the Department of Energy, which previously assisted Tesla.
The funding will be used by the battery recycling startup to build and expand its battery recycling facility outside of Reno, Nevada. When completed, the project will be the first in the United States to support the production of anode copper foil and cathode active materials in a fully closed-loop lithium-ion battery manufacturing process.
The facility processes end-of-life electric vehicle batteries and automotive production scrap to produce raw materials and products used to manufacture new EV battery cells.
According to the Energy Department, Redwood Materials will create approximately 3,400 construction jobs and employ approximately 1,600 full-time employees.
Redwood stated that it expects to produce 100 GWh per year of ultra-thin battery-grade copper foil and cathode-active materials in the United States from both new and recycled feedstocks.
In Nevada, Redwood Materials already has a pilot plant producing anode copper foil. The DOE stated that it aims to support the production of more than one million EVs per year, which could help drivers avoid an estimated 3.5 million tons of CO2 and other tailpipe emissions each year.
Last year, Redwood Materials agreed a multi billion dollar deal to supply high-nickel cathode to Tesla supplier Panasonic beginning in 2025.