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Tesla Co-Founder Straubel Aims To Build World’s Top Battery Recycler

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Chief Executive Elon Musk mentioned he was taking a look at recycling batteries to complement the provision of uncooked supplies from mining as Tesla escalates automobile manufacturing.

Redwood this year will recycle more than 1 gigawatt-hours' worth of battery scrap
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Redwood this yr will recycle greater than 1 gigawatt-hours’ value of battery scrap

Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel desires to construct his startup Redwood Materials into the world’s high battery recycling firm and one of many largest battery supplies firms, he mentioned at a expertise convention Wednesday. Straubel goals to leverage two partnerships, one with Panasonic Corp, the Japanese battery producer that’s teamed with Tesla on the Nevada gigafactory, and one introduced weeks in the past with e-commerce big Amazon.

Also Read: Musk Says Tesla To Use New Batteries, Tech At Berlin Factory; Flags Production Risk​

With manufacturing of electrical autos and batteries about to blow up, Straubel says his final objective is to “make a material impact on sustainability, at an industrial scale.”

Established in early 2017, Redwood this yr will recycle greater than 1 gigawatt-hours’ value of battery scrap supplies from the gigafactory — sufficient to energy greater than 100 Tesla automobiles.

That is a fraction of the half-million autos Tesla expects to construct this yr. At the corporate’s Battery Day in late September, Chief Executive Elon Musk mentioned he was taking a look at recycling batteries to complement the provision of uncooked supplies from mining as Tesla escalates automobile manufacturing.

Redwood’s partnership with Panasonic began late final yr with a pilot operation to get better supplies at Redwood’s recycling amenities in close by Carson City, in line with Celina Mikolajczak, vice chairman of battery expertise at Panasonic Energy of North America.

Mikolajczak, who spent six years at Tesla as a battery expertise chief, mentioned: “People underestimate what recycling can do for the electrical autos trade. This might have a big impact on uncooked materials costs and output sooner or later.”

Straubel’s broader plan is to dramatically scale back mining of uncooked supplies comparable to nickel, copper and cobalt over a number of many years by constructing out a round or “closed loop” provide chain that recycles and recirculates supplies retrieved from end-of-life automobile and grid storage batteries and from cells scrapped throughout manufacturing.

Also Read: Tesla Disbands U.S. Media Relations Team: Report​

In September, Redwood mentioned it obtained funding from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, following an funding by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

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“I’m excited about the work we can do together,” Straubel mentioned of Amazon. “They have batteries in many devices,” from client electronics to knowledge facilities, in addition to future electrical supply autos and drones.

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