The founder and CEO of Redwood Materials is speaking at the conference.

Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg

Toyota is joining a growing list of global automakers it is working with to create a closed-loop supply chain for materials used in electric vehicles.

The partnership will initially focus on monitoring, recovering and recycling aging batteries from Toyota, which came out more than two decades ago, and other hybrid-electric vehicles the Japanese auto giant sells. The company will look for other uses for old Toyota battery packs, such as being used in new hybrid cars. As Toyota increases sales of pure electric models and starts making batteries at a plant in North Carolina, Redwood will collect and recycle those packs.

Redwood isn't sharing financial details of its relationship with Toyota, but it is collecting Toyota batteries He wouldn't say if Toyota is investing in his startup. Over the past two decades, Toyota has sold more hybrid vehicles in the US than any other company.

The person tells Forbes that they are excited about this one. It has a huge impact on the existing fleet of Toyotas on the road. It is large. They are standing up for what they believe in. They've had a few twists and turns in their path to electrification, but I think they're moving forward aggressively on this now and will continue to do so.


Employees at Redwood Materials process used batteries.

Redwood Materials

Toyota invested $50 million in the startup in 2010 and sold its California plant to the startup. It is unlikely that the Model S would have been built if it was not for that deal. The battery-powered version of the RAV4 was briefly sold by the Japanese company, but was later discontinued.

He said that there are a number of the same team members on the Toyota North American side who worked with him in the past. There is no direct connection between the two projects, but it feels like a small world.


In the U.S., Toyota has sold about two million of the hybrid cars.

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Hundreds of thousands of Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles have been sold in the US since 2000.

See the article "Tesla Tech Whiz Is Mining Riches from Your Old Batteries" for more on the topic.

The long-term challenge of finding enough materials to supply all the batteries needed as the auto industry shifts from petroleum to electricity was the focus of the work done by Straubel. He found that recycling spent batteries was the best way to do it.

The company, which has raised over $800 million, has previously said it will be working with Ford and Volvo Cars, collecting and recycling their EV packs, as well as working with battery giant Panasonic and cell maker AESC.

The amount of end-of-life batteries processed by the company continues to increase. It makes battery packs for up to 100,000 new electric vehicles by recovering and selling enough materials and metals. The company wants to make 100 gigahertz of batteries at a U.S. plant by the year 2025. By the end of the decade it hopes to have enough battery materials for 5 million electric vehicles.


Valuable metals and elements that can be used to make new ones, can be recovered from spent batteries.

Redwood Materials