What’s Happening: Redwood, a leading recycling company, has shared its findings from the first year of its comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling program in California. The program aimed to establish efficient and safe recovery pathways for end-of-life hybrid and electric vehicle battery packs and to share the findings with policymakers to make critical decisions on how to manage EV batteries responsibly at end-of-life.
Why It Matters: As the number of EVs on the road increases, responsible end-of-life management of their batteries is becoming increasingly important. Redwood’s program offers valuable insights into the collection and recycling of lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, the most common types of EV batteries. This program is essential to ensuring that the United States can maintain a reliable, domestic supply of both recycled content and battery materials required for EV batteries, especially with the recent expansion of the Clean Vehicle Credit through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
- Redwood launched the world’s first and most comprehensive EV battery recycling program in California in February of last year.
- The program collected and recycled 1,268 end-of-life packs, totaling approximately half a million pounds of material.
- The most significant cost of battery pack collection and recycling is logistics, but Redwood is confident that logistics costs will decrease as the volume of end-of-life battery packs increases.
- Redwood worked with auto dealers, dismantlers, and aggregators to identify and recover end-of-life packs safely and sustainably.
- Redwood encourages policymakers to incentivize responsible recycling in the U.S. and urges them to be mindful that market forces and industry partnerships are already at work to create safe, efficient, and sustainable pathways for end-of-life batteries.
Bottom Line: Redwood’s EV battery recycling program provides valuable insights into the collection and recycling of EV batteries, highlighting the importance of responsible end-of-life management. As policymakers consider proposals to ensure responsible EOL management of batteries, they should incentivize responsible recycling in the U.S. and work with industry partners to create safe, efficient, and sustainable pathways for end-of-life batteries.