Ford and Volvo are the first carmakers to directly support Redwood Materials’ electric vehicle battery recycling programme, which is initially focusing on California. Redwood’s aim is to establish efficient, safe and effective recovery pathways for end-of-life hybrid and electric vehicle battery packs.

Redwood says that to “truly make electric vehicles sustainable and affordable, we need to create pathways for end-of-life battery packs to be collected, recycled and remanufactured into new battery materials.

“Scaling production of EVs, increasingly from recycled materials, domestically, is the only way we can create a circular and, therefore, sustainable and secure supply chain to meet the US’ electrification plans.”

And while the first major wave of end-of-life electric vehicles is still a few years away, Redwood and initial partners at Ford and Volvo are “committed to creating these pathways now.”

Annually, Redwood currently processes 6 GWh of lithium-ion batteries or the equivalent of 60,000 EVs – that is most of the recycled lithium-ion batteries in North America today.

“We’re ramping our processes in preparation for the first wave of these vehicles to come off roads”, confirms Redwood which is initially focusing battery collection operations in California. “As a leader in the transition to electric transportation when the first major wave of EVs begins to retire from roads, it will happen in California.”

Redwood will transport the Californian batteries to its facilities in neighbouring Northern Nevada, processing and returning high quality, recycled materials back into domestic cell production. “Overtime, as end of life packs scale,” says Redwood, “we expect these batteries to become valuable assets that will help make EVs more sustainable and affordable.

“We will demonstrate the value of end-of-life packs today and how we can steadily improve those economics as volumes scale up. Ultimately, our aim is to create the most effective and sustainable closed-loop system that physics, and chemistry will allow for end-of-life battery packs to re-enter the domestic supply chain.”