Toyota partners with Redwood Materials to make electric car batteries from old Priuses.
Who would have thought that the first generation Prius would help Toyota, 26 years after its release? However, this is what the small hybrid sedans will do, with a much wiser design than their successors.
The first hybrid vehicle from the Japanese manufacturer, this Prius is increasingly populating car scrapyards. An opportunity that Toyota does not want to miss by partnering with Redwood Materials.
This American company specializes in the recycling of electric car batteries. Moreover, its founder is none other than the co-founder of Tesla, JB Straubel.
Redwood is not unknown in the automotive world, quite the contrary. The firm works with Tesla in Nevada, but also with Ford and Panasonic. It would now consider setting up in Europe, where Gigafactories will flourish.
The initial agreement between Toyota and Redwood was solely for the recycling of old batteries. From now on, Redwood will provide the manufacturer with recycled materials for the cathodes and anodes of its future batteries.
“Today, together with Redwood Materials, Toyota takes a decisive step towards a sustainable future”said Cal Lankton, chief commercial officer of Redwood Materials.
“Not only are they working to ensure responsible end-of-life management of their electric vehicles, but they are also planning to build their next generation of electric cars using in part sustainable, domestically manufactured battery components.”
Reducing the ecological footprint of batteries
The parts that Redwood Materials will make for Toyota will go into its battery factory. This is located in North Carolina, which will take them across the country, rather than coming from abroad.
Toyota wants to reduce its production costs and relocate its supply chain. It could also make its models eligible for U.S. government tax credits.
“We are excited to acquire critical battery components and materials for integration into our battery ecosystem”said Sean Suggs, president of Toyota’s North Carolina battery plant.
“We will continue to work on sourcing and recycling battery materials here in the United States. This will maximize these valuable resources and reduce our carbon footprint in the process.”
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