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UPDATE 1-Redwood Materials plans to spend $3.5 bln on making EV battery essentials

·1 min read

(Adds Redwood comment, changes source)

July 25 (Reuters) - Redwood Materials, founded by former Tesla Inc executive JB Straubel, said on Monday it plans to spend $3.5 billion on a battery-materials factory in northwest Nevada, confirming an earlier report by the Wall Street Journal.

The auto industry has been ramping up production of electric vehicles (EV) to meet a demand surge, driving up orders for batteries and raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, etc.

Five-year-old Redwood Materials is ramping up production of anode and cathode components to 100 gigawatt-hours by 2025, enough to supply batteries for 1 million EVs a year, then to 500 GWh by 2030, enough to supply 5 million EVs a year or more.

Redwood Materials, whose partners include automaker Ford Motor Co and EV battery maker Panasonic Holdings Corp , is building a closed-loop battery ecosystem aimed at lowering EV costs by cutting dependence on imported materials, while also reducing the environmental impact.

The Nevada plant, under construction outside Reno, is expected to be one of the first U.S. facilities to produce key ingredients needed to make batteries that power electric vehicles, Redwood Materials said.

It expects to spend $3.5 billion over 10 years on the plant and offer more than 1,500 full-time jobs in that time.

In May, Straubel said the company aimed to start production of copper foil used for electric-vehicle battery anodes at its Nevada facility by the end of 2022, adding that Panasonic Corp would be the first customer for the anodes.

(Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Shinjini Ganguli)