ToyoSafe: Toyota Partners with Redwood Materials for Sustainable Battery Production

Toyota has announced an exciting expansion of its partnership with battery-recycling firm Redwood Materials to enhance its commitment to sustainability in battery production. While Toyota had previously collaborated with Redwood on recycling battery materials, this new agreement allows Toyota to directly source recycled materials from Redwood for future battery production.

Under the expanded agreement, Toyota will procure critical battery components, specifically cathode active material and anode copper foil, from Redwood Materials. These components are currently manufactured overseas, but sourcing them domestically aligns with recent regulations and global policies. The move strengthens Toyota’s position in light of the Biden administration’s policies and battery-materials sourcing rules for federal EV tax credits, which require materials to be sourced domestically or from countries that have free trade agreements with the United States. By partnering with a U.S.-based recycling scheme, Toyota ensures a steady supply of sustainable materials for its batteries while adhering to these regulations.

Redwood Materials, which recently received a $2 billion loan from the Department of Energy, plans to supply Toyota’s battery manufacturing plant in North Carolina, scheduled to open in 2025, with recycled cathode materials and anode copper foil. While these materials could potentially be used in hybrid batteries, Toyota’s primary objective is to incorporate them into EV batteries. This strategic decision not only supports Toyota’s goals but also contributes to the overall advancement of electric mobility.

The partnership aims to achieve an impressive composition of recycled materials in the battery components. The agreement stipulates that the cathode material will consist of 20% recycled nickel, 20% recycled lithium, and 50% recycled cobalt, while the anode copper foil will be 100% recycled copper. Redwood Materials claims that this will position its battery materials as the most sustainable on earth. However, it remains to be seen how this will impact the cost of EVs, as affordability is a significant factor in wider EV adoption.

With General Motors already securing battery raw materials through supply agreements, this collaboration between Toyota and Redwood Materials solidifies the importance of sustainable battery sourcing for automakers worldwide. As more manufacturers strive to meet ambitious EV production targets, the availability and responsible sourcing of battery materials will play a crucial role in achieving a sustainable future for transportation.


What is Toyota’s partnership with Redwood Materials all about?

Toyota and Redwood Materials have expanded their current agreement to enable Toyota to directly source recycled battery materials from Redwood for its future battery production. The partnership focuses on obtaining critical battery components domestically in line with recent regulations and global policies.

What materials will Toyota source from Redwood Materials?

Under the expanded partnership, Toyota will procure cathode active material and anode copper foil from Redwood Materials. These two components are deemed essential for battery production and are currently manufactured overseas.

Why is sourcing battery materials domestically important for Toyota?

Recent regulations, including battery-materials sourcing rules for federal EV tax credits, require automakers to source materials domestically or from countries with free trade agreements with the United States. Toyota’s partnership with Redwood Materials ensures a sustainable long-term supply of critical battery components while complying with these regulations.

How will this partnership contribute to sustainable battery production?

Redwood Materials aims to provide Toyota with recycled materials for its batteries, such as 20% recycled nickel, 20% recycled lithium, 50% recycled cobalt in cathode material, and 100% recycled copper for anode copper foil. These sustainable materials are expected to make Toyota’s batteries more environmentally-friendly and reduce the overall carbon footprint of electric vehicles.

What impact will this partnership have on EV affordability?

While the utilization of recycled materials in batteries promotes sustainability, the cost of EVs remains a significant factor in their affordability. The partnership does not currently address the cost implications of using these sustainable materials, which could impact the overall price of electric vehicles.