Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn and Redwood Materials of Nevada today announced they are working together to build out battery recycling and a domestic battery supply chain for electric vehicles. Ford also is investing $50 million in the Nevada company to help it expand its footprint in the U.S.
The goal of the partnership is to make electric vehicles more sustainable, drive down the cost for batteries, and ultimately help make electric vehicles accessible and affordable for more Americans.
The companies are collaborating to integrate battery recycling into Ford’s domestic battery strategy. Redwood’s recycling technology can recover, on average, more than 95 percent of the elements like nickel, cobalt, lithium, and copper. These materials can be reused in a closed-loop with Redwood moving to produce anode copper foil and cathode active materials for future battery production.
By using locally produced, recycled battery materials, Ford can drive down costs, increase battery materials supply and reduce its reliance on imports and mining of raw materials.
“Ford is making electric vehicles more accessible and affordable through products like the all-electric F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit, and much more to come,” says Jim Farley, president and CEO of Ford. “Our partnership with Redwood Materials will be critical to our plan to build electric vehicles at scale in America, at the lowest possible cost and with a zero-waste approach.”
Ford is investing more than $30 billion in electrification through 2025, including the collaboration between Ford and Redwood, which will help deliver on Ford’s plans to localize the battery supply chain.
This builds on the automaker’s previously announced plans to scale battery production through multiple BlueOvalSK battery plants in North America starting mid-decade. BlueOvalSK is the U.S. joint venture that Ford and SK Innovation intend to form, subject to definitive agreements, regulatory approvals, and other conditions.
“We are designing our battery supply chain to create a fully closed-loop lifecycle to drive down the cost of electric vehicles via a reliable U.S. materials supply chain,” says Lisa Drake, North America COO at Ford. “This approach will help ensure valuable materials in end-of-life products re-enter the supply chain and do not wind up in landfills, reducing our reliance on the existing commodities supply chain that will be quickly overwhelmed by industry demand.”
Longer-term, Ford and Redwood plan to work together on the best approach to collect and disassemble end-of-life batteries from Ford’s electric vehicles for recycling and remanufacturing to help reduce the cost associated with battery repairs and raw materials to manufacture all-new batteries.
“Our work with Redwood will, by design, help ensure the infrastructure is in place to cost-effectively recycle end-of-life Ford batteries to create a robust domestic materials stream and drive down the cost of electric vehicles,” Drake says.