Toyota and Redwood Materials Strengthen Partnership for Sustainable Battery Ecosystem
Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and Redwood Materials announced a significant stride towards achieving a closed-loop battery ecosystem with an expanded recycling agreement, aiming to establish end-of-life pathways for automotive batteries used in Toyota's hybrid and battery electric vehicles, contributing to the companies' commitment to sustainability and circularity in the automotive industry.
The partnership includes an agreement for Toyota to source Cathode Active Material (CAM) and Anode copper foil from Redwood's recycling activities for the production of new automotive batteries. This builds upon the initial collaboration announced last year, focusing on battery collection and recycling for Toyota's hybrid and battery electric vehicle batteries.
"Working with Redwood Materials, we are creating a circular supply chain to optimize logistics, expand refining, and ensure that the valuable metals recovered can be reintroduced into our future vehicles," said Christopher Yang, Group Vice President, Business Development, Toyota Motor North America. "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".
Redwood Materials' Chief Commercial Officer, Cal Lankton, noted the strategic move by Toyota toward sustainability. “Today, in collaboration with Redwood Materials, Toyota is making a decisive move toward a sustainable future. They are not only working to ensure responsible end-of-life management for their electric vehicles but also planning to build their next generation of EVs, in part, by using sustainable and domestically manufactured battery components."
As Toyota's fleet of electrified vehicles, including first-generation Prius models introduced over 20 years ago, reaches the end of its lifecycle, the collaboration with Redwood's Nevada recycling facility will support Toyota's North American supply chain. This will enhance sustainability, operational improvements, and contribute to Toyota's overarching goals of achieving carbon neutrality for its global operations by 2035 and carbon neutrality for its vehicles by 2050.
The closed-loop framework developed by Toyota and Redwood Materials also includes plans to procure Cathode Active Material (CAM) and copper foil from Redwood. The recovered material is expected to feed into future new battery production at Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC), which is set to come online in 2025 with a nearly $14 billion investment.
Sean Suggs, TBMNC President, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, saying, "We'll continue to work toward the sourcing and recycling of battery materials here in the United States to maximize these precious resources and reduce our carbon footprint in the process."
Redwood Materials is making substantial investments to scale its technology and facilities to supply U.S. battery cell manufacturers and automakers with strategic battery materials produced domestically. The company will break ground on its second Battery Materials Campus outside Charleston, South Carolina, later this year, with the aim of scaling production to 100 GWh annually. The materials provided by Redwood will include a minimum of 20 percent recycled nickel, 20 percent recycled lithium, and 50 percent recycled cobalt in their cathode, along with targeting recycled copper in their anode copper foil, further contributing to the sustainability of the automotive industry.
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