Published on November 16, 2023, 5:59 pm

Battery cells produced at Toyota’s future North American EV factory will soon incorporate materials from Redwood Materials, according to an announcement made by the two companies. Redwood Materials will supply Toyota with cathode material and anode copper foil for battery cells manufactured at the automaker’s upcoming $13.9 billion factory in North Carolina, which is set to commence production in 2025. This partnership is significant for Redwood as it expands its collaboration with Toyota and provides them with a US source for crucial battery components.

While the terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, it is expected to be similar to Redwood’s deal with Panasonic, which amounts to several billion dollars. The agreement reflects a joint effort between Redwood Materials and Toyota announced earlier this year, whereby Redwood agreed to refurbish or recycle batteries from Toyota’s hybrid and electrified vehicles. In cases where batteries cannot be refurbished, materials like copper, lithium, cobalt, and nickel are extracted by Redwood for remanufacturing into components that can be reused in battery cell production at Toyota.

Toyota’s battery lifecycle ecosystem aims to include recycling, remanufacturing, and repurposing of nearly five million operating units. As part of this endeavor, Redwood Materials will now supply cathode active material and copper foil produced at its US facilities under a long-term agreement. The cathode materials provided by Redwood for Toyota’s North Carolina factory will contain a minimum of 20% recycled nickel, 20% recycled lithium, 50% recycled cobalt, as well as 100% recycled copper in the anode copper foil.

Lithium-ion batteries consist of three critical components: two electrodes (an anode on one side and a cathode on the other) with an electrolyte in between. The cathode foils represent more than half the cost of a battery cell and typically contain lithium, nickel, and cobalt. Through their battery recycling and processing, Redwood Materials can capture and repurpose all of these materials.

Redwood Materials is actively expanding its headquarters in Carson City, Nevada and plans to begin construction on a second battery materials campus in South Carolina later this year. These campuses will focus on recycling, refining, and manufacturing battery materials with the goal of scaling up production to reach 100 gigawatt-hour per year’s worth of materials by 2025, enough for approximately one million electric vehicles.

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