March 20, 2023

The Energy Department announced Thursday a $2 billion loan to help a Nevada company speed up production of a key component for electric vehicle batteries.

The company, Redwood Materials, plans to use the loan to expand a manufacturing campus near Reno, Nevada, where it makes some components using new and recycled resources. The company was founded by former Tesla executive JB Straubel and has partnerships with Panasonic, Ford Motor, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Once construction is complete, Redwood aims to produce enough battery material at the Nevada campus to support the production of more than 1 million electric vehicles per year. Redwood and the Department of Energy said the loan will help create about 3,400 construction jobs. The company said it expects about 1,600 full-time employees to work in the park upon completion.

The announcement is the latest loan from the department to support domestic battery manufacturing as the Biden administration seeks to bring more electric vehicle supply chains into the United States and reduce reliance on China.Last month, the department said it would $700 million loaned Support a mining project in Nevada. December, Department Announcing $2.5 billion in loans Ultium Cells is a battery manufacturing joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution.

During the Obama administration, the Department of Energy instituted a $465 million loan to Tesla That helped it produce the Model S sedan at a time when the automaker is much smaller and faces an uncertain future. But the department has made few loans during the Trump administration. After taking office, President Biden has renewed his emphasis on green energy and zero-emission vehicles to combat climate change.

in a statement Regarding the Redwood loan, the Department of Energy said, “This program marks an important step toward achieving the Biden administration’s goal of having half of all new vehicles sold by 2030 be zero-emission vehicles, including pure electric, plug-in Hybrid electric or fuel cell electric vehicles.”

Anodes and cathodes, two vital components of every battery, are mostly produced in Asia, but Redwood and a handful of other U.S. companies are trying to change that. Last month, the company began producing anode copper foil at its Nevada campus and is working to produce cathode material there. Panasonic plans to use the materials in batteries at two U.S. factories. Panasonic has long supplied batteries to Tesla.

Over time, Redwood plans to increasingly recycle old batteries to extract expensive metals used in anodes and cathodes, helping reduce the country’s reliance on metals extracted from mines, many of which are located in other countries/ area.

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