Redwood Materials is Changing How We Power Our Electric Vehicles.
A new Electric Vehicle (EV) recycling company is harvesting anodes, cathodes, and rare minerals from old EVs in order to reduce the amount of mining done in the EV industry.
One of the biggest hurdles facing green energy, and specifically electric vehicles, is ironically the ecological and ethical costs. EVs require batteries, and these sophisticated pieces of technology require rare minerals such as lithium and cobalt. The problem with these minerals is where and who is extracting them.
Right now, almost the entirety of EV production relies on minerals imported from countries like China, which have a horrendous track record of human rights violations and negligence of the natural environment. On top of those costs, the supply chain doesn’t begin in the country where most EVs are sold.
To remedy these problems, a new company headed by a former Tesla exec called Redwood Materials has been recycling old EVs and their batteries for their valuable elements and manufacturing new products to be sold and put into new EVs. Their newest expansion takes them into South Carolina, where they have announced they are starting their newest recycling/manufacturing plant.
Redwood has said that their facility could eventually provide 100 GWh of energy, enough to annually power 1 million EVs with the ability to scale upwards. This project comes alongside the expansion of their Nevada plant, which has proven incredibly successful.
The new project is located just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, for a reason. The easy access to ports, along with the prime location to other collaborators along what is becoming known as the battery belt. Not only is the production of EV components extremely necessary and important, but it’s giving back to the community. The facility is expected to generate 1,500 jobs for the area, along with an additional 3,400 jobs for the construction of the facility. This good news comes in tandem with the announcement that the energy department is giving out a loan to Redwood Materials to the tune of $2 billion to ramp up the production of these necessary materials.
The problem that EV users have always had are accusations of hypocrisy. How can one consider themselves “green” yet still rely on mining rare metals that do much more harm than good? Redwood Materials is committed to changing this fact so that not only can one drive an EV for cheaper but also with a good conscience.