Tesla cofounder JB Straubel will recycle Nissan Leaf batteries at Redwood Materials

Tesla cofounder JB Straubel announced that his new startup, Redwood Materials, is going to recycle Nissan Leaf battery packs.

Redwood Materials is a Nevada-based company that is developing new processes to recycle materials with a focus on electric car batteries.

It was founded by JB Straubel, an early founding member of Tesla and the company’s longtime chief technology officer, until he left in 2019 to focus on the startup.

Last year, the company came out of stealth mode and revealed more about its operations — including the fact that it is testing its recycling process with scrap from Panasonic’s operations at Gigafactory Nevada.

Redwood also received backing from Amazon.

Now, in a new interview with CNBC, Straubel announced that Redwood now has a deal with AESC to recycle Nissan Leaf batteries:

Redwood Materials has reached an agreement to recycle scrap and defective battery cells for Envision AESC, which manufactures batteries for the Nissan LEAF in Smyrna, Tennessee. It is the latest move for the company Straubel started in 2017 to supply battery makers and auto companies with raw materials in short supply as EV production surges around the world.

They don’t have such a deal with Tesla, but they do recycle scrapped battery cells that were produced at Gigafactory Nevada by Panasonic and destined for Tesla.

Straubel commented on what they do to the batteries:

We bring the materials back to a very clean and sort of fundamental state so there is no loss in effectiveness. It’s actually indistinguishable whether there is cobalt coming via an old battery or from a mine.

Redwood is also going after batteries from laptops, phones, and other electronic devices.

The startup has been hiring a lot from Tesla, with several top engineers coming from the automaker.

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