Toyota goals to faucet recycled Prius supplies for future US EV batteries

Toyota and battery-recycling agency Redwood Supplies on Thursday introduced an growth of their earlier settlement that may see Toyota supply battery supplies from Redwood for future battery manufacturing.

Toyota introduced plans to work with Redwood on recycling of battery supplies in June 2022. However it’s now confirming plans to additionally supply recycled materials for battery manufacturing from Redwood, which earlier this yr obtained a $2 billion mortgage from the Division of Vitality to broaden its operations.

Whereas the comparatively small measurement of the present EV fleet means it is not a lot of a supply for recycled materials, Toyota anticipates a rising want for recycling as extra of its hybrids—such because the first-generation Prius launched greater than 20 years in the past—attain the top of their lifecycles.

Toyota and Redwood Materials battery recycling

Toyota and Redwood Supplies battery recycling


Below the expanded settlement, Toyota will supply cathode lively materials and anode copper foil from Redwood. The recycling firm calls them “the 2 most crucial battery elements,” noting that whereas they account for almost all of the price of a battery cell, they’re presently manufactured solely abroad.

Redwood will quickly provide these supplies to the Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina plant scheduled to open in 2025. Though these supplies would possibly find yourself in hybrid batteries from this plant, Toyota’s greatest incentive, primarily based on Biden administration coverage and battery-materials sourcing guidelines for the federal EV tax credit score, is to make use of them in EV batteries.

Tax-credit guidelines now require battery uncooked supplies to be sourced domestically or from international locations with which the U.S. has a free commerce settlement, whereas present international coverage discourages importation of battery supplies from China. Supplies from Japan and South Korea could also be eligible proper now, however it’s unclear whether or not this loophole will stick. So a U.S.-based recycling scheme is a safer long-term wager.

Toyota and Redwood Materials battery recycling

Toyota and Redwood Supplies battery recycling


Redwood presently operates a facility in Nevada, and plans to interrupt floor on a second facility in South Carolina later this yr. Each will recycle and remanufacture battery supplies, with an final aim of 100 gigawatt-hours of battery elements yearly.

The settlement between Redwood and Toyota requires 20% recycled nickel, 20% recycled lithium, and 50% recycled cobalt in cathode materials, and 100% recycled copper for the anode copper foil. Redwood claims this may make its battery supplies probably the most sustainable on earth, however would not focus on price, which has develop into a limiting consider EV affordability.

Whether or not they’re newly produced or recycled, battery uncooked supplies will likely be key to automakers’ EV targets. Normal Motors in 2022 mentioned it had secured all battery uncooked supplies to provide a million EVs yearly by 2025—primarily by way of provide agreements fairly than recycling.