Battery recycling partnership from VW and Redwood


German automotive company VW and battery materials and recycling startup Redwood Materials have entered into a new collaboration to turn old laptops into electric vehicle batteries.

Redwood announced that with the technology they have developed, they can recover more than 95 percent of critical minerals such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper from batteries and then convert the metals into battery components supplied to the USA.

Co-founder and CEO JB Straubel, who is Tesla’s co-founder and CTO, has long argued that creating closed-loop systems would reduce battery costs, the need for raw materials mining and shipping.

As it will be remembered, Volkswagen and Audi in the United States signed a contract with Redwood last year to recover and recycle end-of-life electric vehicle battery packs from a network of 1,000 dealerships in the United States. Audi then expanded its partnership with Redwood to launch a consumer-focused recycling program.

Volkswagen in America agreed to install trash cans at select dealerships to collect consumer electronics. Batteries and devices, including cell phones, cordless power tools, electric toothbrushes, cordless headphones, and other lithium-ion powered devices collected in trash cans, will be sent to Redwood’s Nevada facility for reuse as EV batteries.

Redwood has made deals with companies like Panasonic to recycle and process scrap from battery cell manufacturing. In early 2021, Redwood had quietly introduced a program of recycling to everyday consumers and all the old electronics waiting in their junk drawers.

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