December 1, 2023


Power Of Engine

Here is how your previous Prius battery will assist construct new EVs

3 min read

Redwood Supplies, the battery recycling effort began by Tesla alum JB Straubel, sees its mission as essential for ramping up home content material in American EVs—in addition to for serving to automakers meet sustainability targets.

Final month, Redwood detailed a method it’s truly making that course of occur on the bottom: It’s began a web-based portal for end-of-life EV batteries. By it, U.S. automotive dismantlers—also called salvage yards—can enter particulars concerning what they’ve and get an prompt provide for his or her battery pack. 

Automotive recycling isn’t as centralized as you would possibly assume. Within the U.S. there are greater than 9,000 automotive recycling places, using 140,000, and automobiles are essentially the most recycled merchandise within the U.S., in line with Redwood, with round 12 million autos recycled per 12 months. 

In line with the Automotive Recyclers Affiliation, about 86% of auto materials content material is recycled, reused, or used for “vitality restoration,” and from the mixed efforts of recyclers about 8 million gallons of fuel and diesel, 24 million gallons of motor oil, and 96% of lead-acid batteries are collected for reuse or recycling.

On the identical time, that is when the variety of EVs reaching recyclers is accelerating, and it’s an essential step in establishing the U.S. battery-material ecosystem. 

Toyota and Redwood Materials battery recycling

Toyota and Redwood Supplies battery recycling

Sure, the afterlife in your Leaf or Prius battery

Simply in 2024, Redwood expects 250,000 electrified autos to achieve end-of-life. That features a complete lot of hybrids Toyota, as an example, earlier this month confirmed plans to supply recycled materials for Toyota EV batteries from Redwood, with the hope of recovering supplies from earlier retired Prius hybrids. 

A number of different automakers have made offers with Redwood. VW and Audi EV batteries might be retired by way of the agency, and shipped to Nevada for recycling, and a Ford partnership seeks a “closed loop” round EV provide chain with Redwood. The agency will plan an “outsized function in bringing the battery provide chain dwelling,” in line with Vitality Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and it’s receiving a $2 billion DOE mortgage for growth. 

Redwood launched a California pilot program in early 2022, and after the primary 12 months of this system it reported 1,268 battery packs collected from 19 completely different EV and hybrid fashions, 82% of which included lithium-ion cells. It claims that it was capable of get better greater than 95% of lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, and different supplies from the packs. 

As a part of that program, Redwood is already working with automotive dismantlers. 

Toyota and Redwood Materials battery recycling

Toyota and Redwood Supplies battery recycling

No parallels to the catalytic converter epidemic

Given the big variety of recyclers, and rampant points with catalytic converter theft, are there any such considerations for EVs? Redwood instructed GCR that it particularly approves every transaction, with car title and serial numbers verified, and that it has a workforce prepared to assist dismantlers with questions or considerations in processing EV battery packs. 

An EV battery pack is under no circumstances a catalytic converter both, and it requires time and talent to take away. By its portal, as soon as Redwood accepts the sale, it handles transportation of the pack, which might typically be 1,000 kilos or extra. 

“Everybody we labored with within the dismantler group needs to do the fitting factor they usually have been excited to associate instantly with Redwood to make sure accountable recycling,” reported Redwood of its California program, noting that the dismantler group helped it discover essentially the most environment friendly strategy to deal with, package deal, and ship heavy EV packs. 

Now, it’s time to scale up.

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