Redwood Materials nabs $2 billion loan for battery recycling in Nevada

JB Straubel sits down with CNBC’s Phil LeBeau at Redwood Materials.

Redwood Elements has attained a $2 billion personal loan determination from the Division of Electrical power, the agency declared on Thursday via its financial loan courses business office.

The battery-recycling startup will use the funding to construct and expand its battery recycling facility outdoors of Reno, Nevada. The facility can take finish-of-life electric powered car batteries and automotive generation scrap, processes these, and churns out raw components and goods that are applied to make new EV battery cells, particularly anode copper foil and cathode-lively components. 

Redwood Components was started by previous Tesla CTO and cofounder JB Straubel in 2017 for the duration of his tenure at Elon Musk’s motor vehicle enterprise.

Straubel still left Tesla to run Redwood Products comprehensive-time in 2019, and numerous previous Tesla employees have joined him there like COO Kevin Kassekert, who previously worked as a vice president of people and destinations at Tesla.

As CNBC beforehand noted, final 12 months Redwood Supplies struck a multi-billion dollar deal with Tesla provider Panasonic.

“These are really money-intense initiatives, and we’re in a level of competition with Asia to ramp this up and to provide these source chains and manufacturing functions back to the US,” explained Straubel on CNBC’s The Trade on Thursday.

He included, “The US battery demand and EV need is growing…but we have a very long way right before that source chain is predominantly moved to the US.”

The Director of the DOE’s Bank loan Courses Business office, Jigar Shah, wrote in a submit about the new personal loan commitment:

“In purchase to satisfy the wants of the promptly developing EV market place, the United States will need to expand battery recycling abilities, as nicely as mature our domestic potential for manufacturing battery precursor components. By decreasing the price of the essential materials for lithium-ion batteries utilizing recycled components, electric cars can develop into extra obtainable to decrease income communities.”

With the goal of reducing greenhouse fuel emissions about the following decade, President Joe Biden pushed for and signed the $430 billion U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022. The DOE’s new loan to Redwood Products comes in portion from that legislation, which has so significantly resulted in additional than 100,000 new environmentally friendly work opportunities getting announced.

The DOE says it appropriated $55 billion in new believed mortgage authority for its Sophisticated Engineering Automobiles Manufacturing application by way of the IRA. This exact same system as soon as assisted Tesla get its start out — and Tesla repaid their personal loan early and grew into a juggernaut, in sharp distinction with cleantech firms that fizzled like Solyndra, for example.

Redwood Elements has a pilot line up and operating for production of anode copper foil in Nevada presently. It is aiming to assist the generation of more than 1 million EVs for each yr, the DOE claimed in its article, which could assist drivers stay clear of an believed 3.5 million tons of CO2 and other tailpipe emissions, annually.

Even though Tesla may possibly have been the birthplace of Redwood Elements, and a husband or wife of the organization these days, it could compete with the recyclers on engineering finally. In its 2022 annual money filing with the SEC, Tesla explained, “We have agreements with 3rd celebration battery recycling businesses to recycle our battery packs and we are also piloting our possess recycling technological know-how.”