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Tesla Could Finally Sweep Electric Cars' Dirty Problem

By Grace Anilado , May 03, 2017 05:00 AM EDT
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While electric vehicles are indeed the more environment-friendly choice for transportation, they do have green problems of their own. But that concern could soon meet its end as it looks like Tesla is starting to work on it. A SEC filing uncovered by CB Insights show that two Tesla executives are involved in a new startup.

According to Electrek, CTO and co-founder JB Straubel and head of special projects Andrew Stevenson are heading this new company called Redwood Materials. Basing on its bare website, the Redwood-based firm will be focused on developing advanced technology for recycling, remanufacturing and reusing materials. Furthermore, an anonymous investor has put $2 million on the project last Apr. 17.

This points to an effort to finally sweep aside the dirty problem of electric vehicles that is dead batteries. Jalopnik notes that it is a huge environmental concern. After all, nobody has yet to figure out what to do with dried out batteries. Recycling them is the next obvious step, but doing so would still require a lot of effort.

However, there is also a possibility that Tesla is not invested in this startup. After all, Straubel has been involved in companies without the backing of the automaker. Meanwhile, Stevenson has mentioned about "rethinking the materials supply chain" in a keynote address at an energy conference.

As for Tesla, the electric vehicle company has been heavily invested in battery-making infrastructure. For instance, the Gigafactory 1 in Nevada is focused on manufacturing batteries for the company's vehicles. But at the same time, a section of the factory is also dedicated as a recycling facility, Straubel disclosed last year.

Since Tesla expects to increase their production for 2017, they will have an increased need for materials as well. If the Nevada factory is to keep pace with the demand, it will have required an incredible amount of raw products. And if the company stays true to the inclusion of recycling to their long-term plan, then they should be able to reuse old battery packs in the near future.

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