Daily Management Review

Tesla Co-Founder To Build ‘Top Battery Recycling Company’


The market for batteries and the electric vehicles is set to bloom.

In a technology conference, J.B. Straubel, co-founder of Tesla, expressed his wish of turning “Redwood Materials”, a start-up under his initiative, into the “top battery recycling company” in the world, while securing a place among the “largest battery materials companies”.
Straubel is wanting to work with “two partnerships”, on with Panasonic Company and another with Amazon. The former is a Japan based battery producer while the latter is an “e-commerce giant”. The market for batteries and the electric vehicles is set to bloom, whereby Straubel’s “ultimate goal” is to “make a material impact on sustainability, at an industrial scale”.
Redwood was established in the beginning of 2017 and around this year it is going complete recycling over “1 gigawatt-hours’ worth of battery scrap materials from the Gigafactory”, an equivalent amount sufficient to power over ten thousand Tesla cars.  However, the number is only a fraction of the expected “half-million” Tesla vehicles to be manufactured this year.
During September’s Battery Day celebration observed by Tesla, the C.E.O Elon Musk sought out for “recycling batteries” in an attempt to find a supplement for raw materials that are got from mining while Tesla gears up to ramp up its vehicle production.
In the later part of last year, Redwood entered into a partnership with Panasonic and began a “pilot operation” whereby recovering “materials at Redwood’s recycling facilities in nearby Carson City”. In the words of the Battery Technology’s Vice-President for “Panasonic Energy of North America”, Celina Mikolajczak:
“People underestimate what recycling can do for the electric vehicles industry. This could have a huge impact on raw material prices and output in the future.”
The wider aim of Straubel is to ultimately cut down on raw materials received from mining for example “nickel, copper and cobalt over several decades”. This is hopes to achieve by creating a supply chain which sustains in a circular loop whereby incorporating recycling and re-circulation of materials “from end-of-life vehicle and grid storage batteries and from cells scrapped during manufacturing”.
Furthermore, back in September, Redwood had informed about receiving funds from “Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund”. Talking about Amazon, Straubel added:
“I’m excited about the work we can do together. They have batteries in many devices.”