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Tesla Might Have A Solution For Electric Vehicles' Enormous Dirty Secret

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Tesla’s recent announcements of a few additional Gigafactories and a significant expansion of its Supercharger network show the company hopes to invest heavily in infrastructure to supports its ambitions. And a new filing uncovered by the CB Insights database suggests Tesla’s linked to a project to create an advanced materials recycling initiative.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filing discovered by CV Insights shows the initiative, called Redwood Materials, isn’t explicitly linked to Tesla, but the automaker’s CTO, JB Straubel, and head of special projects, Andrew Stevenson, are listed as executive officers. “The document also notes a $2M investment into the company from a single undisclosed investor, with a date of April 17, 2017,” CB Insights wrote. Here’s more:

We also uncovered a sparse website linked to the company, describing the initiative as targeting the the entire materials lifecycle, leveraging “advanced technology and process development for materials recycling, remanufacturing, and reuse.”


One of the biggest environmental concerns of electric vehicles is the batteries, especially when they’re dead. It’s not totally worked out what do you do with mountains of enormous dead batteries. The best thing to do would be to recycle them, but it’s not easy.

Electrek notes Straubel has links to other companies that don’t have any connection to Tesla, but an investment in Redwood makes sense. If Tesla successfully increases production to a million cars annually by 2020, as founder Elon Musk hopes to achieve, it’s going to have a huge supply of old batteries. Redwood would be a solution to that problem.


“Given Tesla’s ambitious plans to scale its manufacturing for new auto models and volume, materials efficiencies and innovation could be key to the company’s efforts,” CB Insights wrote.

We reached out to Tesla for comment and will update if we hear anything back.