Redwood Materials, a producer of anode and cathode battery components for electric vehicles, has announced plans to establish operations in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Slated to create 1,500 jobs, the $3.5 billion investment marks the largest economic development announcement in the history of the Palmetto State.
“Redwood Materials’ record-breaking announcement shows that our state’s strategic plan to remain a top destination for automobile manufacturers and their suppliers as the industry innovates is working,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “This $3.5 billion investment, and the 1,500 jobs it will create in Berkeley County, is a transformative accomplishment that can only be attributed to the strong, talented, hardworking South Carolinians who make our state as great as it is.”
Headquartered in Carson City, NV, and founded by Tesla’s former Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder JB Straubel, Redwood Materials will use its South Carolina campus to create a circular supply chain for electric vehicles. To do so, the company will onshore production of the critical components in batteries — the anode and cathode — to drive down costs and emissions while securing the supply chain within the U.S. All battery components will be built from as much recycled material as possible. The more than 600-acre campus, located at Camp Hall Commerce Park in Ridgeville, will initially produce enough anode and cathode material for 100 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery cell production or one million electric vehicles each year.
“South Carolina’s commitment to creating a secure energy future and a competitive landscape for electric vehicle manufacturing, supported by a world-class workforce, fast and efficient logistics, zero-carbon electricity, and a phenomenal site made it a smart decision for Redwood to invest here,” said Redwood Materials Founder and Chief Executive Officer JB Straubel. “Redwood’s South Carolina Battery Materials Campus will recycle, refine, and remanufacture anode and cathode components allowing us to support our current and future customers in the heart of America’s battery belt. We’re ready to support this region and U.S. electrification by driving down battery costs, emissions, and reducing reliance on foreign supply chains.”
Of the project, public utility Santee Cooper Director, Stephen H. Mudge, said, “Redwood Materials represents a tremendous opportunity for South Carolina to increase our sustainable manufacturing footprint and supply chain security. Redwood Materials fits perfectly with Santee Cooper’s vision in developing Camp Hall, and we are proud to welcome JB Straubel and his team to Berkeley County, South Carolina.”
Currently, nearly 100% of the components required for electric vehicle batteries are manufactured overseas. Redwood Materials works to recover more than 95% of the critical minerals and rare earth elements from batteries, like nickel, cobalt, lithium, and copper, and then reintroduce those materials into the supply chain through the anode and cathode materials it produces for U.S. battery manufacturers.
Redwood Materials works with multiple partners that have existing operations across the U.S., such as Volvo, Envision AESC, Proterra, Panasonic, Volkswagen and Audi, for reclaiming and recycling end-of-life batteries and production scrap to produce battery components.
Operations will begin in 2023 at the Berkeley County, South Carolina location.