Sustainability strategies and the financial stability of a company belong together, although it may not seem so. This is Ford’s vision, which besides adding environmentally friendly plans, seeks to reduce production costs through battery recycling.
The U.S. automaker announced a partnership with Redwood Materials to promote the reuse of batteries and a national supply chain of this element for electric vehicles.
The partnership is a clear indication that the automaker is taking conscious steps to address the supply and cost of the various raw materials needed to produce the electrified cars.
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The program will recycle scrap materials from Ford at their facility in Carson City, Nevada. However, over time, as the company increases plant strength, Redwood Materials will build new recycling centers closer to the battery manufacturing complexes.
Through a release, Ford emphasizes that Redwood Materials will help them minimize reliance on importing many of the materials used when producing batteries, and subsequently reduce the extraction of raw materials, which will be very important in the future.
“The creation of this domestic supply chain is really an important step towards making electric vehicles more accessible to everyone,” adds Ford.
Lisa Drake, Chief Operating Officer of Ford in North America, stressed the importance of recycling batteries, noting that the industry could be overwhelmed by demand.
“This approach will help ensure that valuable materials re-enter the supply chain at the end of their useful life and do not end up in landfills,” she said.
Redwood Materials’ Focus
The Redwood recycling technology can recover, on average, more than 95% of elements, such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper. These materials can then be reused within a closed loop in which the company goes on to manufacture copper foil for anode and active materials for cathode, contributing to the future production of entirely new batteries.
Founded in 2017 by former Tesla Inc Executive JB Straubel, it has been recycling batteries and leftover materials. By mid-September, the organization said it would expand its business to include refining components to equip one million electric vehicles after 2025.
Back in July, Redwood raised $700 million from investors, including Amazon Inc, Fidelity, T. Rowe Price and Baillie Gifford.
Written by I Jhonattan González