A Tesla Co-Founder Is Building a US Battery Industry – Bloomberg


To fill that gap, Straubel has set out to build one of the largest battery materials factories in the world. Redwood, which currently operates three facilities in Nevada, is searching for a location farther east to build a new million-square-foot factory. At a cost of well over $1 billion, according to Straubel, the addition will enable Redwood to become a major U.S. producer of cathodes. (Every battery has two electrodes — an anode and a cathode — between which trillions of charged lithium atoms travel. It’s the cathode that largely determines a battery’s cost, performance and environmental footprint.)

Straubel says the U.S. factory will produce material for 100 gigawatt hours of batteries a year by the end of 2025. That’s enough for about 1.3 million long-range vehicles a year, on par with the biggest producers in Asia. By 2030, the same facility will ramp up to 500 gigawatt hours a year, he says. At today’s prices, that’s $25 billion of cathodes a year. Redwood plans to build a similar operation in Europe by 2023. n

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“These numbers sound insane, but when you look at what the market needs, I’m like holy cow — is this even aggressive enough?” Straubel says. “Somebody’s got to do this. In fact, we need at least four companies doing similarly aggressive, crazy things all in the same timeline.”

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A New Industry for the U.S.: Battery Materialsn

Redwood wants to eliminate this 50,000 mile supply chain for battery componentsn



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