Under the expanded partnership, Toyota plans to procure recycled cathode active material (CAM) and anode copper foil from Redwood, according to a Nov. 16 press release. Recycled CAM sourced from Redwood will feed into future production at Toyota’s battery manufacturing operations in North Carolina.
“The use of recycled materials is anticipated to help increase the focus and relevance of domestic supply chains versus the extensive, carbon-intensive current supply chain of procuring outside of the United States,” the companies said.
Toyota’s $14 billion battery facility in North Carolina is slated to come online in 2025.
The two companies also aim to “create pathways for automotive batteries used in Toyota’s electrified vehicles that have reached the end of their life,” they said in the press release. The automaker expects its recycling needs to grow in the coming years as first-generation vehicles in its Prius line reach the end of their life cycle after being introduced more than two decades ago.
The aging automobiles are a potential pipeline of recyclable battery minerals and other materials. With many of those vehicles based in California, the proximity of Redwood’s Nevada recycling facility will support Toyota’s North American battery chain and make it more sustainable, helping to create a “a closed-loop battery ecosystem” in North America, the companies said.
Toyota forecasts that nearly five million operating units in its battery ecosystem will be recycled, re-manufactured and repurposed.
“Accelerating our recycling efforts and domestic component procurement gets us closer to our ultimate goal of creating a closed-loop battery ecosystem that will become increasingly important as we add more vehicles with batteries to roads across North America,” Christopher Yang, group VP for business development at Toyota Motor North America, said in the release.
Redwood said it plans to continue expanding its facility in northern Nevada and later this year will break ground on its second battery minerals campus, this one outside Charleston, South Carolina.
In August, Redwood announced it had raised $1 billion in series D financing to expand its U.S. battery supply chain, which the company said would allow U.S. customers to buy recycled battery materials domestically for the first time.
Others in auto industry have also struck deals to procure recycled battery materials, as manufacturers look to both ramp up electric vehicle production and secure supplies of battery materials for those vehicles. Earlier this year, Honda announced a deal with battery recycler Ascend Elements for the supply of recycled lithium-ion battery material.