Big Tech companies have always been a training ground for employees who decide to leave and launch their own startups. In 2017 J. B. Straubel, for more than a decade Tesla’s CTO, founded Redwood to try to solve one of the most important problems related to the electric mobility industry. We are talking about the recycling of batteries not only from cars but also from devices such as smartphones and tablets that we use every day.
His startup just closed its Series D round by raising $1 billion with the goal of expansion into the U.S. market. The company is classified as a unicorn (its valuation is estimated at $2 billion). But what does Redwood do? It reclaims used batteries, breaks them down to collect all their components, including rare earths, repurposes them, and feeds them back into the battery production circuit.
The battery issue is far from technical. Its repercussions are geopolitical, especially in the United States where the Biden presidency continues in its confrontation with China, continuing that trade war sought by former White House tenant Trump.
If you want to find more details about Redwood, and how the former Tesla CTO, J.B. Straubel, plans to recycle batteries, download for free our companion app. The Born2Invest mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices and keeps its readers up to date with the most important business news of the day.
Redwood has obtained a $2 billion loan commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy
With the billion-dollar IRA program, the U.S. goal is to disincentivize offshoring and convince more and more companies to bring entire supply chains to U.S. soil. On the battery chapter, the situation is complex: as TechCrunch recalls, China processes and refines 59 percent of lithium and 75 percent of cobalt globally, while the U.S. and Canada together do not reach 7 percent.
As reported on CNBC, Redwood has obtained a $2 billion loan commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy. Meanwhile, the startup is building two plants where it will boost its business, one in Nevada and the other in South Carolina. By 2030, the goal is to recycle enough batteries to power 5 million electric vehicles.
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First published in StartupItalia. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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