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Ford, Redwood form ‘circular’ supply chain for EV battery materials By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT was seen at the Munich Auto Show and IAA Mobility 2021, in Munich, Germany on September 8, 2021. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo

By Paul Lienert

(Reuters) – Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co and startup Redwood (NYSE:) Materials said on Wednesday they are partnering to form a “closed loop” or circular supply chain for electric vehicle batteries, from raw materials to recycling.

The goal is to reduce the import dependence of EVs, as well as the negative environmental effects of refining and mining of battery materials.

Redwood and Ford will be working closely with SK Innovation, the Korean manufacturer of battery products, to produce EV-compatible batteries in the United States. Lisa Drake from Ford spoke at a briefing.

The issue

Redwood, which was founded in 2017 by former Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc executive J.B. Straubel, has been recycling battery scrap and materials at facilities in Nevada.

Mid-September saw the company announce that they would be expanding their business into refining these materials into batteries components. They also plan to provide enough to outfit a million more electric vehicles by 2025.

Redwood raised $700million from investors in July. These included Fidelity (NASDAQ:), Inc, T. Rowe Price, Baillie Gifford, and Fidelity. Straubel announced that Ford has invested $50 million on Wednesday. Investor website PitchBook currently values Redwood at $3.7 billion.

Redwood is a partner with Envision AESC (Tennessee) and Panasonic (OTC-:) in Nevada.

Both battery and vehicle manufacturers are focusing more on the issue of managing battery life.

General Motors Co (NYSE) President Mark Reuss stated Tuesday that recycling and reuse is a key issue in the industry’s push to produce more electric cars.

He stated that there is a lot of material within a battery cell which can be recycled. This is something we’re working on.

In May, GM announced a partnership to Li-Cycle with its battery partner LG Energy Solution. This will allow them to recycle the battery scrap material of Ultium Cells.

Straubel indicated that Redwood will begin to recycle some Ford material this year. The goal is for Redwood to supply the first anode material by 2023-2024, and the first cathode material mid-decade.

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