Redwood recycling bins will be used at select Audi dealerships across the country over the coming weeks. Batteries and devices that collect in these dumps will be returned to Redwood, ultimately helping to build a more sustainable domestic EV battery.
This will be the first time the automaker has partnered with Redwood to support household lithium-ion battery collection alongside larger EV battery recycling efforts.
With global demand for lithium-ion batteries expected to grow by more than 500% in the next decade, every effort to increase the materials available for battery production is critical. It is a win-win to encourage these collection efforts to increase EV supply and sustainability.
Batteries are in almost every consumer device. From cell phones to laptops, e-bikes, e-scooters and electric toothbrushes to vacuum cleaners and electric drills, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Also, as more EVs are launched (now with 5 percent market penetration in the US and growing rapidly), more battery materials are required.
All lithium-ion batteries are composed of various essential minerals such as cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium – metals that can be recycled almost indefinitely.
Because metal atoms don’t change or degrade, old devices can become new EVs without sacrificing performance or battery life.
Battery components from recycled content perform as well, if not better, than any raw material on the market. However, currently, less than 5 percent of devices containing lithium-ion batteries can be recycled, mainly because there are no clear recycling paths.
Redwood and Audi saw a tremendous opportunity to create this pathway, enabling consumers to recycle their batteries, and then use these batteries to domestically re-produce new sustainable electric vehicle batteries.
The new policy outlined in the Inflation Reducing Act (IRA), creates requirements for domestic sourcing and recycling of essential minerals used in EV batteries.
End-of-life batteries can help build strong domestic supply chains and cleaner EVs, supporting IRAs and the Administration’s goal of increasing circular domestic battery production.