Tesla Execs Leading New Supply Chain Recycling Firm

Kristi Paul
May 4, 2017

The filing lists Tesla Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel and Tesla's head of Special Projects Andrew Stevenson as chief executive of the materials recycling company called Redwood Materials. Additionally, the form shows that the company has raised $2 million from a single investor who's name is not disclosed in the filing. As CNBC reports, Redwood Materials - which on its website says it focuses on "advanced technology and process development for materials recycling, remanufacturing, and reuse" in the supply chain - has named two Tesla executives as directors of the company.

We asked Tesla for a comment since everything points to the company being behind this new startup and we will update if we get an answer. Last year, he spoke about how Tesla plans to recycle the batteries in its electric vehicles and reuse the materials.

You'd think with battery production commencing at the new Gigafactory and Tesla being the most valuable auto company in America, the company's executives would have their hands full. The problem with cobalt is it should also be considered a conflict mineral - it's most plentiful in Congo, where child laborers and other oppressed workers toil in inhumane conditions for sketchy mining companies owned by Chinese conglomerates that then sell it to major battery makers like Samsung and Apple, according to a Washington Post investigation a year ago. Both of the co-founders of the stealth company have been active participants in the development of Tesla's gigantic Gigafactory in the Nevada desert. But the publication said it's quite possible Tesla isn't involved with Redwood Materials at all. As noted by Electrek, Straubel has been known to invest in companies without any connection with Tesla, like his backing of new energy storage startup Axiom Exergy. This situation does sound different and Stevenson, the other co-founder of Redwood Materials, previously highlighted Tesla's interest in 're-thinking the materials supply chain' during a presentation at Carnegie Mellon's 2017 Energy Week.

That's the tagline on Redwood Materials' sparse website.

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