Tesla executives launch a mysterious startup for 'materials recycling'

Francis Harris
May 4, 2017

The serial entrepreneur has been very busy lately, what with SpaceX's recent accomplishments and the latest developments in Tesla. Though info on this initiative is now quite scarce, the SEC filing suggests that it will work towards advanced materials recycling and manufacturing.

Tesla cofounder/CTO Jeffrey Straubel and head of special projects Andrew Stevenson are both listed in an SEC filing as the executive officer and director of 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. Straubel is involved with other ventures that have nothing to do with the electric vehicle company, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has more than his fair share of outside work. The company is expected to provide information about Redwood Materials (if it has a link with the startup) in its earnings call.

It also reflects that the new company was established only this year. The simplistic website describes the venture as "advanced technology and process development for materials recycling, remanufacturing, and reuse".

Redwood Materials, a stealth company which counts a couple senior-level Tesla executives as its founding team, has been spotted in the wild by CB Insights.

Straubel has been Tesla's internal expert on batteries, having started out in the field building custom battery packs for electric vehicles, before the original Roadster. So it might have something to do with this materials recycling company.

According to CBInsights, materials efficiencies could be key to Tesla's effort as the company is looking to scale its manufacturing.

A wheel of a prototype of the Tesla Model 3 on display in front of the factory during a media tour of the Tesla Gigafactory, which will produce batteries for the electric carmaker in Sparks, Nevada, U.S. July 26, 2016. It must be noted that in a keynote in March, the company listed "re-thinking the materials supply chain" as one of its focus areas, notes Reuters.

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