On February 23, 2021, CNBC published an interview article with JB Straubel, the former co-founder and CTO of Tesla. After leaving Tesla in 2019, Straubel focused on his battery recycling startup, Redwood Materials, which he founded in early 2017.
Recently, Redwood Materials has reached an agreement with Envision AESC, the battery supplier for the Nissan Leaf, to recycle defective battery cells for the Leaf.
In recent years, commodities such as cobalt, lithium, and nickel, which are raw materials for batteries, have become extremely popular. Recently, prices have reached the highest level in 52 weeks. The demand for these materials in the United States mainly comes from Tesla, Ford, and General Motors.
“We take the materials we recycle and bring them back to a very clean and basic state,” Straubel said. “You really can’t tell whether the cobalt comes from recycled batteries or a mine.” For Straubel and his team, trash is a mine.
Straubel commented that the response of some traditional car companies to the transition to electrification seems to be faster than expected. He also expressed admiration for many successful and growing startups. However, he reminded investors to calmly consider their true business plans and long-term potential.
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