Redwood Materials said that it’s committed to the use of recycled materials, and will also engage in refining and manufacturing activities.
On Tuesday, August 29, the battery and e-waste recycling startup Redwood Materials raised a staggering $1 billion in the latest funding round to expand the recycling operations in the US. Former Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel founded the company back in 2017.
The firm repurposes used electric vehicle batteries, dismantling them to extract valuable metals like nickel, copper, cobalt, and lithium. Redwood uses these materials to create fresh components for new EV batteries.
One of Redwood’s primary objectives is to manufacture battery components within the country. This will help them mitigate certain international trade and geopolitical uncertainties associated with the electric vehicle sector. Additionally, Redwood is committed to maximizing the use of recycled materials, thereby lessening the environmental impact of the automotive industry’s shift from internal combustion vehicles to battery-electric and hybrid technologies.
Along with its key focus on recycling, Redwood Materials also engages with the refining and remanufacturing processes. This helps them add sustainably mined materials to their products as per the need. Additionally, Redwood Materials has also entered into key partnerships with government agencies.
Redwood secured a $2 billion loan commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy earlier this year. The company intends to utilize this funding to amplify its activities within the United States, encompassing growth both within its Carson City, Nevada headquarters and into new territories. Redwood has also unveiled its intentions to construct a Battery Materials Campus near Charleston, South Carolina.
US’s Push for Domestic Battery Production
US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm has highlighted domestic battery and component production as a means to meet the increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs). It will also generate employment opportunities, and expedite the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable and clean energy sources.
Currently, fossil fuels constitute the predominant energy source globally, contributing to a significant portion of human-made CO2 emissions and other harmful air pollutants. They are responsible for driving climate change and its associated consequences, such as more frequent and severe weather events.
Although the proportion of EVs on the road is growing, gasoline, excluding fuel ethanol, still accounted for 52% of the overall energy consumption within the US transportation sector in 2022, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
Research conducted by the Argonne National Laboratory predicts that North America’s battery manufacturing capacity will rise to nearly 1,000 Gigawatt hours annually by 2030.
In the latest funding round, Redwood secured backing from key players such as Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund, and other undisclosed funds managed by T. Rowe Price Associates. The series D round of equity financing propels Redwood’s total raised capital to nearly $2 billion. Additional investments came from OMERS, Caterpillar Inc., Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, and Deepwater Asset Management
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