Redwood Materials Building Huge Cathode Factory In USA

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USA has not been the home of much of the world’s EV battery or battery component production. That has been dominated by China. The Inflation Reduction Act is changing that. Subsidies for mining EV battery minerals, subsidies for processing those minerals, subsidies for battery cell production, and subsidies for battery pack production are combining to focus a lot of battery production in the United States. However, it’s still a small battery production market at the moment and there are gaps in what is produced.

One of those gaps is cathode production. Well, the EV battery recycling startup created by Tesla cofounder and former CTO JB Straubel, Redwood Materials, is ready to change that. “Cathode accounts for >50% of a battery cell’s cost but today, manufacturing is based entirely outside of North America,” the company writes. “Redwood is changing that!” Yes, JB is leading again and initiating EV battery cathode production in the United States.

Here are more details: “We’re building a huge (Airbus A380 for scale) cathode plant with more than 1 million EVs/year of capacity at our Nevada Campus. We’re reducing both the construction cost and the build time through ambitious and detailed engineering, focusing on innovative practices in the plant’s very design and development.

Naturally, with its location in Nevada, one has to wonder if these cathodes will be sold straight to Tesla. (Reminder: aside from his previous role at Tesla, JB Straubel is currently on Tesla’s board of directors.)

In any case, no matter where they are sold, it’s good to see another segment of the industry forming and growing in the United States.


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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