ENERGY TRANSITION: Ford in closed-loop EV battery recycling JV with Redwood Materials

Ford Motor Co is working in partnership with Redwood Materials to create a closed loop for recycling lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles (EVs) and a domestic supply chain for critical battery materials.

Nevada, United States-based Redwood, founded by former Tesla chief technology officer Jeffrey Brian Straubel, said the US automotive manufacturer has invested $50 million in Redwood to help it expand its manufacturing footprint.
According to Redwood, the two companies aim to integrate recycled battery materials - scrap from battery production and batteries at the end of their useful life - into Ford’s US battery supply chain to drive down costs and its environmental footprint, as well as to secure the critical battery materials supply that Ford will need to continue to ramp up its EV production.
This includes lithium, copper, nickel and cobalt, the company noted.
“But recycling is just the first step in creating a circular supply chain. We’ll be collaborating to determine how, together, we can create pathways for consumer vehicles to come off the road at the end of their life and be recycled and manufactured into battery materials to make more Ford EVs,” Redwood added.
“Our relationship with Ford will look at how we can uniquely span the entire battery lifecycle,” Redwood said.
“As part of this relationship, we’re discussing how Redwood could supply Ford’s American battery facilities to ensure a steady, domestic source of sustainable battery materials to fuel the production of Ford electric vehicles,” Redwood added.
The move comes as the US works to meet its climate targets, which include a commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50% from 2005 levels by 2030 and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
In a move backed by Ford, the US has also pledged to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid or fuel cell EV.
Ford has committed more than $30 billion in investment in electrification by 2025, including the Mustang Mach-E passenger car; the 2022-model E-Transit commercial van, to be available late in 2021; and the 2022-model F-150 Lightning light truck, to be available from spring next year.
The company expects around 40% of its global vehicle production to be electric by 2030.
“It’s been incredible to see the tide change as so many automakers commit to a fully electric future. However, we need to plan far ahead for the increased demand of materials that this transition will create,” Redwood said.
“We also must manage supply chain risks carefully around lithium-ion batteries, or we risk a repeat of the semiconductor production shortages causing chaos in the world today. Additionally, we need to start planning now for the end-of-life of batteries as we ramp up to build millions of EVs that can’t be disposed of safely without a robust recycling solution,” the company added.
Redwood works with battery manufacturers to recycle production scrap and teams up with automakers to process end-of-life EVs.
It recently said it would also produce anode foils and cathode materials to supply domestically from a yet-to-be-built North American battery materials manufacturing facility, with the intention of ramping up to 100GWh of cathode material by 2025, enough for 1 million EVs.

Andrea Hotter


Andrea Hotter

September 24, 2021

14:58 GMT

New York