Nevada, United States — The 25-year-old initial release of the Toyota Prius gains a new lease on life–at least somewhat–through a partnership between former Tesla CTO JB Straubel’s company Redwood Materials and car manufacturer Toyota.
This partnership aims to help supply and recycle original Prius and EV batteries, through the acquisition, salvaging and refurbishment of previously used batteries and battery materials. These will then be sent to Toyota’s forthcoming North Carolina battery plant.
The Japanese automaker joins a list of other automotive companies–Ford, Volvo, Proterra and Panasonic, which supplies Tesla’s batteries at their Nevada Gigafactory– to partner in the recycling of battery materials.
Toyota’s partnership will only recycle batteries from Toyota’s hybrid and electric vehicles, with the initial partnership taking place alongside the secession of Toyota’s first line of Prius Hybrids, released nearly 25 years ago, in October 1997. By recycling these vehicle batteries, Redwood Materials’ sustainable process hopes to reduce dependence on imported materials, while also lessening the environmental impact of the creation of new batteries through the recycling process itself.
Redwood Materials also works in areas other than the automotive field, supplying recycling solutions for the Grid/Renewable Storage, Manufacturing, and Consumer Electronics industries. Redwood’s partnership with Toyota, however, represents the growth of an increasingly closed ecosystem of EV manufacturers, and the companies willing and able to recycle their parts.
This end-of-life process for Electric Vehicle batteries represents an attempt to better the world through the Zombification of car parts. What is once dead, now rises again, thanks to Redwood Materials and the Toyota Prius.