Redwood will make anodes and cathodes for EV batteries out of recycled materials
December 14, 2022 at 20:37
by Sebastien Bell
Redwood Materials, which aims to make battery components for automotive applications from recycled materials, announced today that it has chosen a site near Charleston, South Carolina, as the location for its next manufacturing facility.
The company says the plant will cost $3.5 billion and will recycle, refine, and manufacture anode and cathode components for automotive batteries. The facility will be run by more than 1,500 employees and will eventually produce enough cathode and anode materials to power one million EVs per year—though it says production can be expanded from there if need be.
South Carolina was chosen because of its proximity to automaker’s plants and battery cells manufacturing locations. Redwood Materials explains that an American “Battery Belt” is forming between Michigan and Georgia, and with this new campus, it hopes to be nearby in order to serve some of those companies.
Read: VW USA Will Work With Redwood Materials To Recycle EV Batteries
“Redwood’s existing partners like Toyota, Volvo, Panasonic and Envision AESC also have a strong foothold in this region, in addition to many other battery manufacturers,” the company says. “South Carolina allows us to meet our partners’ demand while also scaling in the most sustainable and cost-effective way.”
That will be important because the size of the battery supply chain is one of the environmental weaknesses of electric vehicles. Automakers and suppliers in the U.S. currently have to source anode and cathode parts from as much as 50,000 miles (80,467 km) away, according to Redwood Materials. That’s not just taxing on the planet, but it also represents a large sum of money that could be spent supporting American manufacturing.
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When it comes to the environmental impact, though, Redwood Materials says that it wants to be a leader. Not only will its operations be 100 percent electric (it isn’t even running a gas line to the plant), it will source only zero emissions, clean energy. With that, and its innovative manufacturing process, the company expects that the production of its anodes and cathodes will emit 80 percent less CO2 than traditionally manufacturing.
Redwood plans to break ground on the new South Carolina campus in the first quarter of the coming year. It expects to have its first recycling process up and running by the end of 2023.