Ford and Volvo partner with Redwood Materials in pathways program for end-of-life EV batteries

Credit: Redwood Materials

Ford and Volvo have partnered with Redwood Materials for pathways for end-of-life electric vehicle batteries.

Founded by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, Redwood Materials has now expanded its partnership with electric vehicle manufacturers to see that EV batteries are responsibly disposed of or recycled when they have reached the end of their life cycle. Redwood currently holds several partnerships, including one with Tesla and another with AESC, the manufacturer of Nissan LEAF battery packs.

The program will start in Redwood’s home state of California, the company said in a blog. The program is the most comprehensive EV recycling process globally, which aims to establish safe, efficient, and effective recovery pathways for end-of-life electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. Ford and Volvo are the first two automakers to join the program.

Tesla co-founder JB Straubel confirms Redwood’s battery recycling operations are already profitable

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,” Redwood said. “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.”

Ford and Redwood established a partnership to recycle EV batteries last year.

“We are excited to be strengthening our partnership with Redwood Materials in identifying solutions for electric vehicle batteries that have reached the end of their useful lives,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said regarding the new layer of the partnership. “This new program with Redwood Materials will help Ford lead America’s transition to sustainable and carbon-neutral EV manufacturing and ultimately help make electric vehicles more sustainable and affordable for our customers. I want to thank JB and the Redwood team for bringing their world-class technology and know-how to our joint effort.” 

Volvo’s XC40 Recharge EV is the beginning of the company’s trek to be climate neutral by 2040 and fully-electric by 2030. CEO of Volvo Car USA Anders Gustafsson said the company’s lofty goals for sustainability have the company excited about the partnership with Redwood. “At Volvo cars, sustainability is as important as safety. We aim to be climate neutral by 2040, and fully electric by 2030, and embracing a circular economy,” Gustafsson said. “This is why we are excited about Redwood Materials’ forward-thinking solutions for end-of-life battery packs to be collected, recycled and remanufactured. California is the right place to start such a program.”

Redwood said its pathways program will require it to work directly with dealers and dismantlers in California to identify and recover end-of-life packs. The packs will then be transferred to its facility in Northern Nevada to be recycled back into domestic cell production.

“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,” Redwood said.

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Ford and Volvo partner with Redwood Materials in pathways program for end-of-life EV batteries
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