According to former Tesla CTO and co-founder Jeffrey Brian Stroubel (JB Straubel), over time the electric vehicle industry will be able to meet almost all of its traction battery raw material needs through recycling. Toyota Motor has partnered with Redwood Materials, led by Strobel, to recycle end-of-life traction batteries in the United States.
More than twenty years ago, Toyota began selling hybrid cars powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries. Many of the first batch machines are already depleting their resources, so it’s time to start thinking about recycling them. Agreement with Toyota implies Inspecting and sorting used traction batteries for further processing at the Redwood Materials facility in Nevada. An additional facility in the southeastern United States will allow Redwood Materials to supply not only Toyota’s future traction battery facility in North Carolina, but also Ford and SK On’s operations in Tennessee and Kentucky.
Redwood Materials already receives more than 6 GWh of traction batteries for recycling each year. By mid-decade, the production of recycled materials for cathodes and anodes is expected to increase to 100 GWh per year, which will be enough to manufacture one million electric vehicles. By the end of the decade, the refinery volume is expected to increase fivefold. It is still difficult to predict the extent of the collaboration between Redwood Materials and Tesla as there are no official agreements between them yet, but Tesla expects to produce 20 million electric vehicles annually by 2030 with a potential global market capacity of 40 million electric cars.