Redwood aims to start anode copper foil production by end of 2022

Construction of the anode copper foil facility at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. Credit: Redwood Materials

The chief executive of battery recycling company Redwood Materials said on Tuesday his company aimed to start copper foil production used for electric vehicle battery anodes at its new Nevada facility by the end of this year.

Redwood CEO J.B. Straubel, talking at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car conference, said Panasonic Corp would be the first customer for the anodes.

Straubel said cathode materials manufacturing would start in late 2024 and ramp up in 2025.

The auto industry is grappling with a looming shortage of batteries and raw materials to manufacture a growing fleet of electric vehicles.

Redwood currently recycles lithium, cobalt, copper and aluminum from several sources, including the Nevada battery plant jointly owned and operated by Panasonic and Tesla Inc. That factory has the capacity to make batteries for about 350,000 electric vehicles a year.

Redwood is building the new facility for copper foil production close to its existing site near Reno, Nevada.

“I wished we could go faster, the demand is very very large,” Straubel said in reference to Redwood’s anode and cathode operations.

He said the company aimed to replicate its North American model in Europe a year to a year-and-a-half later.

Redwood, which raised $775 million in July from investors, including Amazon.com Inc, Fidelity, T. Rowe Price and Baillie Gifford, is valued at $3.8 billion by investor website PitchBook.

(By Tina Bellon; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)

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