Volkswagen latest automaker to partner with battery recycler Redwood

Volkswagen Group of America said Tuesday it will partner with battery recycling company Redwood Materials Inc.

Redwood, which was started by Tesla Inc. co-founder JB Straubel, already has partnered with Toyota, Ford, Volvo and Tesla to recycle batteries used by electric vehicles. Redwood also has partnerships with Panasonic and Amazon.

VW said in a statement that its tie-up with Redwood will create a network to recycle Volkswagen and Audi EV batteries in the U.S.

The announcement comes amid Volkswagen’s commitment for 55 percent of its U.S. sales to be EVs by 2030. The statement said the companies will use Volkswagen’s dealership network to recycle the batteries. At the stores, batteries will be analyzed; if they cannot be repaired, they will be shipped to Redwood’s plant in Nevada.

“The collaboration can support local battery capacity and expertise as Volkswagen continues its transition to an electrified portfolio,” the statement read.

Volkswagen said it would work with its dealers to create a “circular EV economy” to reduce costs and return raw materials to U.S. battery manufacturers. Redwood said in a statement that it would identify batteries at the end of their lives and “recover more than 95 percent of the metals like nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper.”

The partnership will also integrate Volkswagen prototype batteries that need to be properly recycled from research facilities such as the automaker’s battery engineering lab near its assembly plant in Chattanooga.

At the plant, “they are ramping up their battery pack assembly, which comes also along with training and prototype assembly,” a spokesperson for Volkswagen told Automotive News. “All these batteries that are being used either in research or in test assembly, they also transform into scrap material right in batteries that need to be properly recycled.”

According to the Volkswagen spokesperson, the partnership will begin effective immediately.


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