Former Tesla executive JB Straubel's battery recycling company is about to fetch a $5 billion valuation during its latest round of funding, according to a new report from FT. From there, the company plans on opening its first major facility in Nevada.
Redwood Materials, founded in 2017, has the goal of acting as the missing link in the battery sustainability cycle. By reusing materials used in the batteries that are now ubiquitous in almost all major consumer products, including EVs, the company looks to reduce the need for mineral mining.
The Epoch Times wrote back in 2022 that the current uptick in EV adoption and increased demand for lithium batteries presents a significant environmental challenge.
“As demand for lithium increases and production is tapped from deeper rock mines and brines, the challenges of mitigating environmental risk will increase.”
We also wrote about the "subhuman" and "appalling" cobalt mining that takes place in the Congo to mine battery minerals. Siddharth Kara, who is a Harvard visiting professor and also the author of “Cobalt Red: How The Blood of The Congo Powers Our Lives" took to The Joe Rogan Podcast in late 2022 with comments.
“I’ve never seen [a cobalt mine that did not rely on child labor or slavery] and I’ve been to almost all the major industrial cobalt mines," he told Rogan.
Straubel's company has backers that include T Rowe Price, Baillie Gifford and Fidelity already. Redwood is looking to close on $700 million in its latest round of financing. It previously closed on $700 million in financing at a $3.7 billion valuation in 2021, the report says. It has also secured $2 billion in loans from the US Department of Energy.
Redwood plans for its plant to support the production of more than 1 million vehicles a year. The timing could not be better: President Joe Biden is working to make half of all new vehicles sold electric by 2030.
It plans for a second plant on 600 acres near Charleston, South Carolina, the report adds.
Straubel helped co-found Tesla in 2003 and stayed on with CEO Elon Musk for over 15 years. His presence became a staple at all Tesla events and most Tesla conference calls. He has since joined Tesla's Board of Directors.
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