Toyota has agreed to source Redwood’s cathode active materials (CAM) and anode copper foil, made from recycled materials, for production of electric vehicle batteries at its new North Carolina plant.
CAM and anode copper foil are the two most critical battery components, and they account for the majority of the cost of a battery cell. Redwood said that the two components are currently manufactured completely overseas, and the company aims to produce them at scale in the United States for the first time.
For Toyota’s products, Redwood plans to use a minimum of 90% recycled materials, including nickel, lithium, and cobalt, for its cathodes and will use 100% recycled copper in its anode copper foil. According to the company, this makes the components the most sustainable battery materials available in the global market.
This agreement follows an initial collaboration between Toyota and Redwood from last year when the companies decided to create a closed-loop platform for domestic electric vehicle battery production. Since then, Toyota has invested an additional $8 billion in its North Carolina Battery Plant, which will add additional battery production lines for the company’s hybrid and electric vehicles.
Redwood’s Plan to Scale Up U.S. Domestic Battery Supply Chain
Redwood identifies a number of benefits to expanding the domestic supply chain for EV battery components, including cost-effectiveness and emissions reductions.
By producing materials increasingly from recycled content, the company is able to save on costs — materials used in EV batteries are in limited supply and may face higher prices as EV demand increases. Domestic, circular battery supply chains may also help the environmental impact that often accompanies EV production. Recycling may decrease reliance on mining, and creating batteries domestically saves on emissions associated with shipping materials to the U.S.
Redwood said its large-scale sources of domestic materials will be produced from as many recycled batteries as available, but the company will also have to obtain sustainably mined materials to meet demand.
The company plans to ramp up the domestic supply chain further by investing in the expansion of its technology and facilities in the coming years. The company has been expanding its Northern Nevada facility and will soon begin construction of a second battery materials campus in South Carolina. With the two campuses, the company plans to scale production to 100-gigawatt hours worth of materials each year.