After several years of hibernation, the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM), which funds innovation within the EV space, is ramping up its activities. Its latest flagship project is a $2-billion loan to Redwood Materials, the battery recycling firm headed by Tesla alum JB Straubel. Redwood will draw upon this financing in tranches to support the phased construction and expansion of its recent battery materials campus.
Above: Tesla Model 3s (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).
As Redwood explains, the 2 most essential components in a battery are the anode and cathode. The cathode accommodates lithium, nickel and cobalt, and the anode accommodates copper and graphite. These components, which account for nearly 80% of the materials cost of a lithium-ion battery, are currently manufactured entirely overseas, predominantly in Asia.
Redwood is committed to manufacturing anode and cathode components within the US, and producing them from an increasing amount of recycled content. In January, the corporate began producing anode copper foil at its Northern Nevada facility. Phase Considered one of copper foil production is now complete, and Redwood expects to start cathode qualification later this yr.
Panasonic can be the primary of several partners to source Redwood’s copper foil, which it can use for cell production at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory. Panasonic may even use Redwood’s cathode material for battery cell production at its recent Kansas plant, which is anticipated to come back online in 2025.
Redwood will use the DOE’s 2 big ones to speed up the development and expansion of its battery materials campus, where the corporate goals to supply 100 GWh per yr of ultra-thin battery-grade copper foil and cathode lively materials from each recent and recycled feedstocks—enough battery materials to supply greater than 1,000,000 EVs per yr from US-made components.
“We’ve been working closely with the Loan Programs Office for greater than a yr, and have undergone an in depth diligence process that thoroughly reviewed our technology, our ability to repay the loan, product demand, and dozens of other aspects to get to this stage,” says Redwood. “Our project allows battery and automotive manufacturers to satisfy the brand new stringent critical mineral and battery component requirements [of] the Inflation Reduction Act. These policies support the localization of the battery supply chain—Redwood’s core mission—and our operations be sure that the American battery industry has the vital materials needed to successfully transition the US to a clean energy and clean transportation future.”