Tesla co-founder aims to build world's top battery recycling company
Redwood will recycle more than 1 gigawatt-hours’ worth of battery scrap materials from the gigafactory
Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel is looking to build his startup Redwood Materials into the world’s top battery recycling company.
Announcing his ambitious plans at a technology conference, Straubel aims to leverage two partnerships, one with Panasonic Corp, the Japanese battery manufacturer that is teamed with Tesla, and the other with Amazon.
Straubel says his ultimate goal is to “make a material impact on sustainability, at an industrial scale.”
This year, Redwood will recycle more than 1 gigawatt-hours’ worth of battery scrap materials from the gigafactory, enough to power more than 100 Tesla cars.
Founded in 2017, Redwood’s partnership with Panasonic started late last year, with a pilot operation to recover materials at Redwood’s recycling facilities.
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Straubel’s wider plan is to significantly reduce mining of raw materials such as nickel, copper and cobalt over several decades by building out a circular or “closed loop” supply chain.
Last month, Redwood said it received funding from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, following an investment by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Straubel joined Tesla as its fifth employee in 2004, and is named as a co-founder. He was its inaugural chief technical officer until moving to an advisory role in July 2019.
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