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$2 billion DOE loan for Redwood Materials could boost US EV battery content

Battery recycling company Redwood Materials may soon receive a $2 billion loan from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to expand its operations.

The DOE on Thursday made a conditional commitment to the loan, which will go to a $3.5 billion recycling and remanufacturing facility in Nevada, according to a report. Reuters report.

The loan, which still has to be completed, is a step toward the Biden administration’s goal of building a domestic electric vehicle supply chain. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in an interview with Reuters that Redwood would play an “important role in bringing the battery supply chain home”.

Rendering of the proposed Redwood Materials cathode plant

Rendering of the proposed Redwood Materials cathode plant

The loan comes from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program, which has previously provided funds to Tesla and other automakers for electric vehicle-related projects. This follows last year’s conditional commitment that General Motors’ Ultium Cells LLC joint venture with LG will receive its first ATVM loan in a decade. That loan has been paid off in December.

Redwood was founded in 2017 by Former Tesla CTO JB Straubelwho told Reuters the company plans to take out its first loan later this year to finance the expansion of its Nevada facility, located near Reno in the north of the state.

Toyota and Redwood Materials recycle batteries

Toyota and Redwood Materials recycle batteries

In addition to the facility in Nevada, where Redwood claims to have processed some copper anode materials, the company plans to open a facility near Charleston, South Carolina, also at an estimated cost of $3.5 billion. Each site has an initial planned capacity of 100 gigawatt-hours of battery electrode material, with the South Carolina facility expected to be about two years behind the Nevada site, which is expected to open. expanded upon completion.

For customers, Redwood has partnered with Ford, Toyotaand the Volkswagen Group Brands Audi and VWamong others.

According to a report last year, the used EV battery recycling market won’t really warm up until 2030, in part because recyclers won’t have large volumes of battery packs to use as raw materials until more electric vehicles are sold and on the road. A DOE loan could give Redwood some runway until that point.

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