Former Tesla Veteran Headed EV Battery Firm Redwood Materials Earmarks $3.5B For Nevada Plant: WSJ

  • Former Tesla, Inc TSLA CTO JB Straubel, who left in 2019 to start  Redwood Materials Inc looks to spend $3.5 billion on a battery-materials factory in northwest Nevada, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The Redwood Materials plant under construction outside Reno, Nevada, will likely be one of the first U.S. facilities to produce critical ingredients required to manufacture EV batteries, WSJ writes.
  • Over the past two years, companies from General Motors Co GM to South Korean battery maker SK Innovation Co Ltd shared over $30 billion of investments in U.S. battery-cell making initiatives.
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  • Today, China accounts for 80% of the global cathode material and over 90% of its anode material demands, triggering concerns for the U.S.'s EV prospects.
  • Redwood chief JB Straubel aims to manufacture the most expensive component of lithium-ion battery cells or cathode material in the U.S. 
  • Straubel looks to begin producing cathode materials by the end of 2024 on a 175-acre site.
  • Redwood also aims to produce thin copper foil reams that typically serve as the skeleton for a lithium-ion battery's anode. 
  • By 2025, Redwood aims to support roughly one million electric vehicles annually.
  • Straubel aims to source 30% or more of the lithium and nickel and 100% of the cobalt Redwood needs to make cathode materials from its growing recycling operation.
  • Redwood looks to spend $3.5 billion over the decade on its battery-materials campus, where employment could exceed 1,500 full-time jobs.
  • Tesla supplier Panasonic Holdings Corp PCRFYis also looking to use Redwood's foil, made entirely from recycled or scrap material, in its battery production by the end of the year.
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