Feb 9, 2023 - Economy

Redwood Materials gets $2B U.S. loan to make electric car battery parts

Illustration of three batteries increasing in size overlaid with money and surrounded by abstract shapes.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Redwood Materials has received a $2 billion U.S. Department of Energy loan to begin domestic production of critical battery components for electric vehicles (EVs).

Why it matters: The loan is another lever, in addition to lucrative tax credits for battery manufacturers, that the Biden administration is pulling to jump-start a U.S. supply chain for EVs.

Details: Redwood intends to make lithium-ion battery anodes and cathodes — which make up nearly 80% of the cells' cost — at new plants in Nevada and South Carolina.

  • Despite huge recent investments in U.S. battery production, those critical components are still made almost entirely in China.
  • Redwood says the new plants will create 3,400 construction jobs and hire 1,600 full-time employees.
  • The plants will eventually produce enough materials to power 1 million EVs, Redwood says.

Of note: Redwood CEO J.B. Straubel was a co-founder of Tesla, which benefited from the same DOE loan program in its early years.

The bottom line: Producing critical battery components in the U.S. could help drive down EV costs, create jobs and reduce the country's dependence on China.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Redwood Materials is building a plant in South Carolina, not Kansas.

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