Redwood Materials, a Nevada battery recycling company, has won a $2 billion loan from the Biden administration to help establish the US’s own electric-vehicle supply chain. The loan, which was announced by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, will help Redwood grow its operations and contribute to the larger fight against climate change.
Redwood was founded in 2017 by JB Straubel, the former CTO at Tesla, and has since grown to employ more than 300 people. The company recycles used batteries from a variety of sources, including EVs, lawnmowers, cellphones, and toothbrushes. With this loan, Redwood will be able to expand its capacity to recover more than 95% of the elements in a spent battery, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and copper.
“This region is leading the way to a broader story of what is happening in the country,” said Granholm, pointing to a map of 80 battery manufacturing or supply chain companies that are expanding or opening in the US. Most of these companies have been established in response to the infrastructure and climate laws signed by President Biden in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Battery recycling will help the US establish its own electric-vehicle supply chain and move away from gas-powered cars, which are a major contributor to climate change. The Biden administration is also promoting the domestic production of critical minerals used in EVs and other electronics, to counter China’s dominance in the supply chain.
“Redwood fills a critical gap in that whole piece, and our goal is to close the loop on all the materials that we’ve already mined and produced into products, keep them in the regions where they were bought and are being used,” said Straubel.
Redwood Materials is expected to create about 3,400 construction jobs and employ about 1,600 full-time workers, and the loan is a major boost for the company and the state of Nevada. The loan will help the company build a $3.5 billion battery manufacturing and recycling factory in South Carolina, in addition to its existing facility in Nevada.
Redwood Materials’ loan from the Biden administration is a significant step towards establishing a domestic electric-vehicle supply chain in the US. The loan will not only help the company grow, but it will also create jobs, reduce the US’s dependence on China, and contribute to the fight against climate change.