Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Redwood Materials home page


Amazon Makes Major Investment In Redwood Materials

Redwood Materials, the battery and e-waste recycling company started by JB Straubel, has secured a major investment from Amazon’s Climate

JB Straubel, who was the chief technology officer at Tesla for many years, knows a thing or two about batteries. He has created a new company called Redwood Materials that he describes as a “Gigafactory in reverse,” meaning it is designed to recover most of the raw materials needed to make lithium-ion batteries in the first place so they can be used to make new batteries.

Straubel’s idea seems to have attracted a lot of interest from some powerful interests. Amazon in particular has pledged to invest $2 billion in green technologies through its Climate Pledge Fund. A chunk of that money — Amazon declines to say exactly how big a chunk — will go to Redwood Materials. Previously, Redwood received $40 million from investors, led by Capricorn Investment Group and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which includes Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.

“Amazon’s investment is significant because of its size and its commitment to have a more sustainable footprint,” Straubel tells CNBC. “The company has batteries in so many places within the company, from Amazon Web Services to consumer electronics to its growing electric logistics fleet.” Redwood Materials will work with Amazon to recycle electric vehicle batteries, other lithium-ion batteries, and e-waste from various Amazon operations.

Redwood Materials is located in Carson City, Nevada, not far from Tesla’s Gigafactory 1. It is working with Panasonic to recycle some of the waste products from its battery manufacturing operations at Gigafactory 1 and may work with Tesla to recycle some of its production waste as well in time.

“When you look at the future of transportation and electrification of vehicles, the number of batteries that will be needed is staggering,” Straubel says. “We’re already recovering most of the metal, lithium, nickel, cobalt from batteries we are recycling. Now we need to do it more efficiently and at a vastly larger scale.”

Recycled materials will be less expensive than mining, refining, and transporting new materials, which means recapturing and reusing them will drive down the cost of batteries. That in turn will further accelerate the EV revolution by making electric cars less expensive. Straubel foresees a process so efficient that nearly 100% of the valuable components of discarded batteries could be recaptured and reused.

The EV revolution and the circular economy need to be best of friends if humans are to have a chance of keeping the world safe for human habitation. We can’t have one without the other.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we heed his advice.


You May Also Like


Electric vehicle batteries are quickly becoming one of the most important commodities in the USA. Mineral processing operations are largely happening overseas, but one...


The short answer is yes. But this is a complicated question, so let’s dig in further. The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is necessary...


Panasonic has agreed to purchase cathode materials and copper foil from Redwood Materials for its battery factories in Nevada and Kansas.

Green Economy

Protein Evolution says it has developed a process that breaks down plastic waste so it can be used to make new products.

Copyright © 2022 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.