Redwood Materials, a company founded by Tesla co-founder, is making a big bet on EV batteries. The company plans to set up a $3.5 billion factory in northwest Nevada, where it will produce battery materials, as reported by the Wall Street Journal
Redwood is already constructing a factory near Reno in Nevada. It will be the first facility in the US to manufacture battery-making materials for EVs. The plant could generate 1,500 full-time employment positions.
Many other companies are getting into battery manufacturing, including traditional car makers and startups, including GM in the US, SK Innovation and Samsung SDI in South Korea, Volkswagen in Europe, etc. Auto companies are racing to lock down their battery supply, given the impending boom in EVs.
While US companies have committed to making EV batteries locally, China remains the major hub globally. Even the lithium mined in the US ends up in China or another Asian country before it becomes battery cells.
This is where Redwood comes in. The company run by JB Straubel will ensure much of the supply chain remains in the US by making the cathode material, the most expensive part of an EV battery. This black powder is usually made of lithium, nickel, and cobalt.