Is Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Launching Materials Recycling Firm?

Randall Craig
May 4, 2017

After a SEC filing uncovered by CB Insights showed that two current Tesla executives started a new stealth company, the automaker is believed to be behind the new project, which apparently aims to create "advanced technology and process development for materials recycling, remanufacturing, and reuse". A Tesla spokesperson did not respond to a request for clarification about the new venture.

Redwood Materials is a Redwood City, California-based company that plans to focus on recycling, re-manufacturing, and re-using materials, Business Insider reported.

You'd think with battery production commencing at the new Gigafactory and Tesla being the most valuable vehicle company in America, the company's executives would have their hands full. The SEC filing doesn't explicitly mention this but the company seems to have close ties with Tesla. And earlier this year, the company opened the Gigafactory to produce battery cells for its energy storage products. Electrek and The Verge both note that Straubel in particular has invested in other, unaffiliated startups, but Redwood Materials' vague mission statement dovetails just a little too well with Tesla's future objectives to be a coincidence.

As for Stevenson, he recently highlighted "re-thinking the materials supply chain" as an area of focus during a keynote address titled, "Opportunities for Students in Building a Sustainable Energy Future", for Carnegie Mellon's 2017 Energy Week on March 28.

Battery production requires materials like nickel, manganese, cobalt, graphite, copper, and lithium, and it makes sense Tesla would want to obtain reused materials for their batteries as much as possible as they ramp up production from 80,000 cars in 2016 to one million in 2020.

It also reflects that the new company was established only this year.

Redwood Materials did not disclose any direct link with Tesla in its filing.

Nevertheless, a company like Redwood Materials could help the EV maker better control its supply chain and possibly boost production, considering that it will be "recycling materials to be manufactured into different parts", says CNBC.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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