Recycling startup Redwood Supplies is partnering with Proterra to provide EV battery supplies sustainably – TechCrunch

Recycling startup Redwood Materials is partnering with Proterra to supply EV battery materials sustainably – TechCrunch

A rising variety of corporations have emerged over the previous few years decided to scale back waste within the electrical car battery market. Chief amongst these is recycling agency Redwood Supplies, which has rapidly expanded since its launch in 2017 by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel to grow to be the biggest lithium-ion battery recycler in North America. Now the agency is teaming up with electrical industrial car producer Proterra in a deal that will assist enhance the home battery provide chain.

That is the primary publicly introduced partnership between Redwood and an automaker.

Beneath the settlement, all Proterra batteries shall be despatched to Redwood’s amenities for recycling in Carson Metropolis, Nevada. The 2 corporations entered the settlement in January, however have been in dialogue since final summer season, when Proterra reached out to study extra about Redwood’s recycling course of. That led to a visit out to Redwood’s amenities in Nevada to see if the recycler may course of Proterra battery packs.

“That went very well,” Proterra CTO Dustin Grace instructed TechCrunch. Grace labored for Straubel for round 9 years at Tesla. “We have been tremendous excited to see their operation. From there, we began work on our grasp provide settlement.”

Proterra has despatched round 26,000 kilos of battery materials to Nevada for recycling since coming into the partnership, although this doesn’t characterize the tempo of future deliveries. Total, Redwood receives 60 tons per day or 20,000 tons of batteries per yr.

The batteries that energy Proterra’s fleets are designed to final the lifespan of the car, however the firm provides a battery leasing program that ensures alternative after six years – which implies loads of helpful life will stay within the battery, as a lot as 80-90% charging capability. To use the rest of this capability, Proterra has plans to reuse the batteries in second-life purposes – comparable to in stationary storage techniques hooked as much as Proterra charging {hardware} – earlier than they head to Nevada.

“First the grading of the battery will happen at Proterra by our remanufacturing engineering staff. If the battery is deemed prepared for second-life, it can go into a kind of purposes; if it’s not, it will get recycled,” Grace mentioned.

Solely as soon as all this handy life is exhausted will the batteries be despatched to Redwood, the place the waste shall be reprocessed into precious uncooked materials. And with the transit EV market poised to succeed in 50% of all annual gross sales by 2025, there shall be loads of batteries that may want reprocessing.

The information comes simply weeks after Redwood introduced it was teaming up with e-bike producer Specialised to recycle its batteries. Redwood already has preparations to course of scrap from Panasonic’s battery cell manufacturing on the Nevada Tesla Gigafactory, and with Amazon to recycle EV batteries and different waste. By means of these business-to-business partnerships Redwood goals to develop a round battery provide chain, supplying the uncooked supplies again to the producer. The corporate additionally accepts electronics and batteries from everyday consumers, which will be mailed to Redwood by way of a mailing handle posted on its web site.  

The partnership is an indication that each corporations are pondering large-scale and long-term. A spokesperson for Redwood mentioned in a press release to TechCrunch that the recycler is targeted on “creating the answer for a completely closed-loop recycling for EV batteries.” Meaning discovering actually sustainable, long-term sources of supplies like cobalt, lithium and copper to ultimately transfer past terrestrial mining. And Straubel has been vocal prior to now about his ambition to develop Redwood into one of many world’s largest battery supplies corporations.

As extra battery grade uncooked supplies grow to be accessible in america, Proterra sees a possibility to ultimately broaden into home battery cell manufacturing.

“It’s nonetheless early days however we’re attempting to set ourselves up for the long run state of this market at scale. That’s actually the first advantage of this partnership present at present,” Grace mentioned. “The best way we see it, home cell manufacturing for Proterra is a really, essential a part of our roadmap right here within the coming years. The thought of producing extra battery-grade uncooked supplies on North American soil straight helps the growth of that battery manufacturing idea throughout the US. So I feel this beginning now completely aids our plans for home cell manufacturing within the close to future.”

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