Ford and Redwood Materials announced Wednesday that they will collaborate to build out battery recycling and a domestic battery supply chain for electric vehicles (EVs).
The mutual goal is to make EVs more sustainable, reduce batteries’ cost and ultimately make EVs accessible and affordable for more Americans.
“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,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “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.”
Redwood’s recycling process and technology can, on average, recover more than 95 percent of elements such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper. These can be reused in a closed-loop environment and Redwood makes anode copper foil and cathode active materials from them for future battery production.
Using locally produced and recycled battery materials equals less cost, more supply and less reliance on imports and mining for raw materials.
Ford will invest more than $30 billion in electrification through 2025, including this cooperative effort. This project also adds to the foundation of scaling battery production through BlueOval SK battery plants in North America by 2025.
“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,” said Lisa Drake, Ford’s North America chief operating officer. “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.”
In the medium-term, the two plan to cooperate on the best way to collect and tear down end-of-life batteries from Ford’s electric vehicles for recycling and remanufacturing to help reduce costs.
Redwood Materials is based in northern Nevada and founded by JB Straubel. To further advance these business opportunities between the companies, Ford invested $50 million into Redwood Materials to help the company expand its footprint in the U.S.