As Redwood waits for the necessary quantities of end-of-life batteries from EVs to increase, waste from the battery-manufacturing process and batteries from commercial and consumer electronics are key sources of material, said Alexis Georgeson, Redwood's vice president of communications and government relations.
Redwood has the capacity to process about 20,000 tons (18,000 metric tonnes) of battery material a year across several facilities in northern Nevada. The company wants to triple that footprint in the near term.
Unlike Li-Cycle, which intends to supply producers of battery cathodes and anodes with recycled materials, Redwood plans to produce those components internally.
"Our entire vision is to really create a truly circular supply chain here [in North America], localize this entire kind of convoluted, 50,000-plus-mile supply chain of battery materials," Georgeson said.
Localizing and integrating the different steps will help drive down cathode and anode costs, which today account for about 65 per cent of battery-cell price tags, she said.
Having struck partnerships with companies such as Panasonic, Envision AESC and Ford Motor Co., Redwood is now scaling up its recycling capacity and mapping out plans for a cathode manufacturing plant expected to open in 2025.
Li-Cycle has put together similar partnerships. Among other deals, it signed a recycling agreement last year with Ultium Cells, the General Motors and LG Energy Solution joint venture.
In January, Li-Cycle detailed plans to co-locate a recycling facility with a 15,000-ton (13,600-metric-tonne) annual capacity at GM's new battery plant in Warren, Ohio, simplifying the logistics and lowering costs. Johnston said for every ton of batteries built, 100 to 220 pounds — or 45 to 90 kilograms — of battery material ends up as waste.