Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn and Volvo Cars of Sweden are the first automakers to support a electric vehicle battery recycling program being launched by Redwood Materials in Nevada.
Redwood calls the program, which will begin in California, “the most comprehensive electric vehicle battery recycling program.” It is designed to establish efficient, safe, and effective recovery pathways for end-of-life hybrid and electric vehicle battery packs.
While Ford and Volvo are the first automakers to sign on, Redwood will accept all lithium-ion (Li-ion) and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries in the state.
“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,” said Redwood on its website. “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 U.S.’ 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.”
Redwood says each year 6 GWh of lithium-ion batteries, or the equivalent of 60,000 EVs, come through its doors. The company says it has been ramping its 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.”
Since Californians were the first to transition to electric transportation, it is the oldest and one of the world’s largest electric vehicle markets. When the first major wave of EVs begins to retire from roads, it will happen in California.
Redwood says it plans to work directly with dealers and dismantlers in California to identify and recover end-of-life battery packs. It will then safely package, transport, and recycle these batteries at its facilities in northern Nevada, and then return high-quality, recycled materials back into domestic cell production.
“Our goal is to learn and share those learnings with the industry,” the company says. “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.”