In a new move towards achieving circularity in the battery ecosystem, Toyota has joined forces with Redwood Materials to bolster its existing recycling agreement. The collaboration aims to establish sustainable pathways for the disposal of automotive batteries from Toyota's electrified vehicles that have reached the end of their operational life.

Simply put, the battery of your old Prius could be used in your new electrified Crown Signia. Or, at least, parts of it. Extending the existing partnership, Toyota will now procure cathode and anode copper foil from Redwood's recycling activities, contributing to its own upcoming automotive battery production. The partnership was originally announced last year.

The Japanese manufacturer anticipates a growth in its automotive battery recycling needs, particularly as more of its electrified vehicles, including the first-generation Prius models introduced over two decades ago, approach the end of their life cycle. With a significant portion of Toyota's retiring fleet located in California, many of those cars could end up at Redwood's Nevada recycling facility. The new ecosystem the two companies are forming is expected to recycle, remanufacture, and repurpose around 5 million operating units in the coming years.

The collaboration is part of Toyota's ambitious sustainability goals. The automotive giant aims to achieve carbon neutrality for its global operations by 2035 and extend the same status to its vehicles by 2050. An integral part of this plan – at least in North America – is the use of recycled materials in future battery production at Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC), set to be operational in 2025. 

Redwood Materials, in turn, is expanding its Northern Nevada facility and breaking ground on its second Battery Materials Campus outside Charleston, South Carolina. It aims to recycle, refine, and manufacture battery materials, targeting an annual production scale of 100 GWh. As outlined in the agreement, Redwood will provide materials with a minimum of 20 percent recycled nickel, 20 percent recycled lithium, and 50 percent recycled cobalt for cathode production, along with a focus on recycled copper for anode copper foil. 

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