How Tesla’s Battery Mastermind Is Tackling EV's Biggest Problem

Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere - in phones, laptops, tablets, cameras and increasingly cars. Demand for lithium-ion batteries has risen sharply in the past five years and is expected to grow from a $44.2 billion market in 2020 to a $94.4 billion market by 2025, mostly due to the boom in electric cars. And a shortage of lithium-ion batteries is looming in the U.S.
Former Tesla CTO and Elon Musk's right-hand man, JB Straubel, started Redwood Materials in 2017 to help address the need for more raw materials and to solve the problem of e-waste. The company recycles end-of-life batteries and then supplies battery makers and auto companies with materials in short supply as EV production surges around the world. Straubel gave CNBC an inside look at its first recycling facility in Carson City, Nevada. Watch the video to learn why battery recycling will be an essential part in making EV production more sustainable.
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How Tesla’s Battery Mastermind Is Tackling EVs Biggest Problem


  1. Tristan Möller

    Tristan MöllerHour ago

    This guy is saving the world twice. Damn.

  2. Simon Dreyer

    Simon Dreyer16 hours ago

    5:42 Hmm, that sentence does not make sense to me... haha

  3. Mr. Tom

    Mr. TomDay ago

    Elon jumped on this issue because his true purpose is to save the earth. He knew that recycling his batteries was just as important as introducing tesla vehicles with new batteries, and certainty more important than colonizing Mars...

  4. levet byck

    levet byckDay ago

    4:12, 4:18, 4:30 and 4:41..etc (4m11s-4m44s) - wonder where these reservoirs are located (interesting view..) - to me without really paying attention to what's been said..feels like a job interview/pitch (american faced..)

  5. Mark Mtenga

    Mark MtengaDay ago

    Always admired straubel for his impactive thinking

  6. Steven Lonien

    Steven Lonien2 days ago

    By opening 2 flat oppossing blades no gaps angles deflections against its opposite half at 180 from 180 degree increase is double in magnetic bearings magneticaly open and close naturally unknown wind energy like sound with curving sparking needs vetted for use and political opposition opinion imaulced in 3 or more harmfull to survival energy corporations need ban.period unfit for use nuclear and oil get together in start race to save life .not stopping hoover dams in tides reversing.learning curve.amen

  7. Lambert Lorette

    Lambert Lorette2 days ago

    great report


    JOHN PETRELLA3 days ago

    Time to start investing in the mining companies that supplys all needed materials to produce 1 battery. and the new technlogy of the new battery Tesla Elon Musk his company along with others new and old companies. Panasonic. etc..

  9. Aghtiri Mohammed

    Aghtiri Mohammed3 days ago

    This is fantastic

  10. Sukol Ponpojna

    Sukol Ponpojna3 days ago

    #Pataint Rights are Racism

  11. David Stambaugh

    David Stambaugh4 days ago

    There are a lot of old mine tailings that have all ready dug up and crushed up that are full of rare earth metals. We were looking for other stuff ,but not rare earth metals which are plentiful in these old tailings.

  12. richard harpell

    richard harpell4 days ago

    I work for Li-Cycle in Kingston Ontario! Great place to work

  13. Amaranthe Arimathea

    Amaranthe Arimathea4 days ago


  14. Michael W

    Michael W4 days ago

    Is Elon helping the company, or is that a sore Point?

  15. MrB8boy

    MrB8boy6 days ago

    Part of the problem with recycling with companies like Best Buy is they make the consumer pay to recycle old technology. What’s my incentive then? If I can’t do it for free then I’ll just put it in the trash or hang on to it.

  16. Robbie Searles

    Robbie Searles6 days ago

    I would believe the recyclers are subject to changes in the prices of those commodities. Why wouldn't they?

  17. 이하서

    이하서7 days ago

    great video, thanks

  18. eagle

    eagle7 days ago

    Oh wait, Best Buy MAKES YOU pay to recycle. MAKES SOOOO MUCH SENSE! Doing the right thing and saving the planet must be PROFITABLE.

  19. eagle

    eagle7 days ago

    Yeah, lets hand them a bunch of our trash so they can profit on it. Wow now they want our trash too lmao.

  20. Bart De Bie

    Bart De Bie7 days ago

    Electricity is everywhere. The earth’s electrical field has been known for centuries. Lightning and St. Elmo’s fire are the most dramatic manifestations of atmospheric electricity. But the field doesn’t exist just in the vicinity of these events; it’s everywhere. The earth is an electrical conductor. So is the ionosphere, the layer of ionized gas about 70 kilometers over our heads. The air between is a rather poor insulator. Some mechanism not yet explained constantly pumps large quantities of charged particles into the air. The charged particles cause an electrical field. Although it varies widely, strength of the field averages 120v per meter. You can measure this voltage with an earth-field antenna-a wire with a sharp point at the top to start a corona discharge, or with a bit of radioactive material that ionizes the air in its immediate vicinity. Near the earth, voltage is proportional to altitude; on an average day you might measure 1,200 volts with a 10-meter antenna. Dr. Oleg Jefimenko invented an earth-field-antennae connected to an advanced corona discharge electrostatic motor which can convert the energy of the earth’s electrical field into continuous mechanical motion. Wouldn’t it be fun if there was a Tesla car that runs on charges similar to those that make your hair stand on end when you comb it on a cold winter’s day?

  21. remy7000

    remy70008 days ago

    How is this news. The batteris are not a problem. They are cheaper to recycle than to mine new materials. This is very old new. OMFG

  22. Victor Segovia Palacios

    Victor Segovia Palacios8 days ago

    So, create a product to solve an nonexistent problem, create a false necessity on people so they buy your product, profit; create real problems on the way, propose a solution for the problems you yourself created, profit even more!!!!

  23. Worsin

    Worsin8 days ago

    No one talks about the sheer amount of energy that goes into all of the mining and then recycling of these minerals for batteries. In the end Oil produces less waste.

  24. youmadbro _1

    youmadbro _18 days ago

    Or we can just have hydrogen cars

  25. Zack Paul

    Zack Paul8 days ago

    They can't even recycle stuff they should now.. W5 has shown us the truth. So why would we just believe these people that they are "now", doing the "right" thing. Hahaha. Nothing but propoganda from a death cult I'm sure.

  26. Adel Touati

    Adel Touati8 days ago

    The problem is a lot of companies locking up the batteries to sell more, the consequences people keep the phones for data, if companies needs batteries recycled they have to make design so the costumer can access the battery remove it to recycle and they buy it from the costumer.

  27. W

    W10 days ago

    just imagine the money to be made from selling product at insane prices, and then convincing ppl to give the most costly part back for free, and their time to do so........way to go sheeple, keep the insanity alive!

  28. Willy D

    Willy D10 days ago

    Or maybe we shouldn't mine these minerals in the 1st place which is extremely detrimental to the earth.......

  29. gedigan

    gedigan10 days ago

    Recycling is a marketing word for profitable business modeling. How much are they paying for such a valuable material for use to sell back?

  30. Kenneth Bergan

    Kenneth Bergan10 days ago

    Amazing! Keep going strong!

  31. Dantata Dangote

    Dantata Dangote10 days ago

    State and local governments can help by providing battery recycling bins and cans allover their jurisdictions. People want to recycle, it's just that it is not as convenient as throwing away trash, so they should make it convenient and people will follow suite ♻️

  32. Tom R

    Tom R10 days ago

    Maybe don't buy a new phone every year fruitcakes?

  33. C H

    C H11 days ago

    Create a problem. “Fix” the problem. Profit. ✨magic ✨

  34. Ahmed Youssef

    Ahmed Youssef11 days ago

    surely there is a battery battery option beyond lithium ion. If we proceed as usual, something will improve on Lion

  35. 06howea1

    06howea111 days ago

    eeeeek why did I see this coming!? E-WASTE

  36. Nothing IsReal

    Nothing IsReal11 days ago

    At 5:13 you can see why the EV boom could be over before it even begins.

  37. Robert Miller

    Robert Miller11 days ago

    There has always been one big problem with batteries DISPOSAL,WHERE AND HOW

  38. Conrad Roedern

    Conrad Roedern11 days ago

    Well done and doing, JB. Still for me EVs and battery recycling are much more permaculture than burning the global oil resources (in a flash-light second compared with the time for them to build up) and releasing the residue as CO2 and other poisonous gases into atmosphere. That should have been said and some shots from SYNCRUDE and other oil-related mess-place would have given this documentary even more perspective.

  39. falcon127

    falcon12711 days ago


  40. Mikolaj Mikun

    Mikolaj Mikun11 days ago

    1:18 Celina Mikolajczak - Best regards from Poland :)

  41. Aydın Bolat

    Aydın Bolat11 days ago

    ooor we can just ditch cars altogether and use railways only

  42. Markey Jester

    Markey Jester12 days ago

    I thought it was a great video! Though, two concerns come to mind: 1. at 5:36 "can relieve some of the burden on the need for new minds or finding new resources", but... that might not be a good thing, you NEED new minds or new methods of resources, even if it doesn't solve *this* problem, it could still have application somewhere, to say we need to just stop thinking of new methods of solving a problem is... well concerning. 2. at 8:03 where they talk about the solution being that the elements needed are in our draws, well c'mon, we have the material you want, why don't you offer us a sum for it? We bought the material from companies, why not buy it back from us? Those companies who sold it to us are going to purchase those materials back from you.

  43. w4csc

    w4csc12 days ago

    How many more thousands will they charge users to recycle the old $32,000 battery pack?

  44. w4csc

    w4csc12 days ago

    I did my part this week. My 1988 Chevy stepvan has my air conditioned electronics shop I used in my business powered by a Honda quiet electronic generator mounted on its back door in a custom enclosure. The van is my retirement toy. I spotted a parked EV beside one of the main roads so pulled over to see what was up. Its owner was waiting for a flatbed tow truck to haul it to one of our rare recharging stations. I asked him if he had his charging cord with him. He did. The look on his face was priceless as I cranked the Honda and plugged him in. After fighting his computer a bit, and waiting for the little 3KW Honda to add a few miles to his pack, I followed him to the new Electrify America superstation. I refused any payment but he insisted I take $20. Good deed for the less fortunate complete...

  45. The Tee

    The Tee12 days ago

    The extraction of cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo has been linked to human rights abuses, corruption, environmental destruction and child slavery. Please tell the whole story CNBC and that Tesla has been sued by the parents of children that have been killed mining their batteries. This is report is paid propaganda.

  46. AkshonClips

    AkshonClips12 days ago

    Biggest problem? A bigger problem is the infrastructure needed for all these electric cars that are being mandated by 2035. California cant even keep the lights on.

  47. allgoo 19

    allgoo 1912 days ago

    Let's say they recycled the material absolute 100%. That only keeps up the existing production. They expect to fulfill the "growing demand"? That's mindbogglingly stupid.

  48. Vernon Gomes

    Vernon Gomes12 days ago

    It really is odd to me that Tesla or other companies don’t buy wrecked Model 3/S and reuse those batteries for this process. Or for a cheaper model.

  49. Fredrik Wanelid

    Fredrik Wanelid12 days ago

    ”They are flammable and toxic, so they can’t end up in landfills”... Sounds like a phrase from 1990’s😂 But, yes companies like these are important for a sustainable future.

  50. Greg Preston

    Greg Preston12 days ago

    Ther was an old woman from nod who wanted a baby from god. It wasn't the god almighty that crawled up her nightie it was the vicar the dirty old sod. Yours Sincerely from the old corrupt UK.

  51. Neil

    Neil12 days ago

    Would be great if product makers made it easier to remove the battery.

  52. Saemon X

    Saemon X12 days ago

    Battery Fake Green Source! Just like wing Generators!

  53. Darren Smith

    Darren Smith12 days ago

    You lose 1/50th of materials from car battery recycling; by weight, petroleum has a 300 times higher loss.

  54. Joshua T Morton

    Joshua T Morton12 days ago

    Should start a plant in Agbogbloshie

  55. He shan Quan

    He shan Quan12 days ago

    Want to figure it out it’s easy ! Make a company to collect battery’s from home owners like a recycle program and gets pick up once a month that free money that doesn’t get thrown out ! Yet no one wants to start this problem they need to fix now !

  56. Anthony Ray Teel

    Anthony Ray Teel12 days ago


  57. jamills

    jamills12 days ago

    We need to up our recycling battery game. Going to best buy isn't easy enough and most people just throw batteries away unknowingly. I want more locations and PSAs

  58. Mr Smith

    Mr Smith12 days ago

    'you can drop it off for recycling' ...are they going to give me the fair market value of the elements contained inside it? If not, good luck getting it to stick. People wont give you stuff for fee in order for you to make billions off of it .

  59. movax20h

    movax20h13 days ago

    Honestly, the recycling Lithium, Nickel and Cobalt, is going to lead us to actually solving EV cost and transition to EVs in a big way. The demand is going to grow, the supply is stretched, demand for more and lower cost is ramping up, and there is already a lot of batteries needing recycling, and more will come soon. Not only recyling is cheaper and less energy intensive, it is less complex, and can also be easier powered by renewable (like solar and wind), compared to mining industry, plus recycling plants can be setup in many places, without limits. The recycling industry is going to be THE solution.

  60. Max Su

    Max Su13 days ago

    The solid state battery is going to reduce the cost to 1/10. Hope for the new battery structure also provide easy recycling. New power grid had better lay down in advance.

  61. Laurent Jolicoeur

    Laurent Jolicoeur13 days ago

    manufacture of batteries should design a easier way to recycle their produce so we can recover the material of their batteries

  62. Shaggydude

    Shaggydude13 days ago

    It's a gallant effort for sure, He is only one company in competition for the used Li-on waste market. Last count their were 7.5 billion people on earth, all increasing wanting technology, and cars. There just isn't enough raw or recycled materials to provide batteries for it all. We need a break through of some type, Li-on is only a stop gap measure at best. This simply a blip on the radar screen of history.

  63. quartytypo

    quartytypo13 days ago

    End EV battery anxiety! Put a lawnmower gas engine in the car that keeps the battery topped-up.

  64. waltersumofan

    waltersumofan13 days ago

    This should lead in to the Right to Repair issues

  65. ez45

    ez4513 days ago

    5:01 that is NOT the preferred route from China to Nevada. lol

  66. Dave C

    Dave C13 days ago

    08:55 recycling must be made easier with every retailer that sells lithium batteries being mandated to take them back for recycling. A deposit/core charge should be applied to all batteries too.

  67. adven ture

    adven ture13 days ago

    What actually wears out in the Li-Ion battery so it needs to be recycled in the first place? Something is missing here.....

  68. Schooling Diana

    Schooling Diana14 days ago

    Please! Tesla and Elon Musk are playing catch up! Potassium batteries were developed without their input AT ALL, well over a year ago AND they last 2-3 times longer than the Tesla/Musk batteries of choice made from lithium. There are other EV car manufacturers who are more innovative, and care about their employees and customers. Several are out-selling Tesla by leaps and bounds. Why not report on that, @CNBC?

  69. CC Carter

    CC Carter14 days ago

    Why not 100@ recyclable?

  70. Patricia d'Assier

    Patricia d'Assier14 days ago

    Question: who built these amazing machines, especially for the initial separation of metals?

  71. Kayo Michiels

    Kayo Michiels14 days ago

    Umicore has been doing this since 2006...

  72. Las Vegas Free Press

    Las Vegas Free Press14 days ago


  73. Randolph Maunder

    Randolph Maunder14 days ago

    I would like to know why the batteries end up failing. What is depleated, what is consumed, what is changed? Something must be consumed or unusable. I'm sure you can't take only the recycled materials and make a new battery without adding some new materials.

  74. Zerkini

    Zerkini14 days ago

    18.9b dollar. Wants people to gift this resource to them through recycling. Why not pay the little guy for their materials.

  75. andrei ka

    andrei ka14 days ago

    so, and later someone will have to recycle all the trash musk is going to throw above our heads with this tens of thousands sats of starlink (oh, and we are not talkin about the total light pollution of earth night sky he doesnt seem to give a damn about...) , but somehow it won't be taken care by musk himself :-P

  76. Ignacio Rivera

    Ignacio Rivera14 days ago

    Give me your batteries so I can make money with them...🤣. I fully paid to own the batteries I purchased, they don't offer a discount to bring back your old batteries. So this batteries are going to the trash😤

  77. Danny Oehlerich

    Danny Oehlerich14 days ago

    I would like to see how much power is needed to build and recycle these batteries with them huge machines? Are they only using renewable energy sources?

  78. Joel Peterman

    Joel Peterman15 days ago

    Are EVs worse than the cure that EVs are made for?

  79. Davicii

    Davicii15 days ago

    All seems good but what they dont tell you they basically burn batteries which is highly toxic watch the limiting factor

  80. JFreezle360Wizzle

    JFreezle360Wizzle15 days ago

    Also Apple will recycle your Apple products and most third-party phones for 🆓.

  81. Nodak81

    Nodak8115 days ago

    I'm too lazy to watch the whole video so pardon me if this was covered in it. But I've heard companies are working on next-gen batteries that use common materials like silicon that would mean much cheaper production and near endless resources. Silicon is the second most abundant element on Earth.

  82. Benjamin Andersen

    Benjamin Andersen15 days ago

    thank f*** they are recycled, been wondering what in general happens to lithium batteries after use, cause there are massive amounts! this eases my mind a bit :) i remember trying a disposable e-cig, they are cheap and works pretty good, but non-rechargeable, they made me think, bet theres tons of those in common garbage litter, and thats just one product containing lithium batteries... (yes, i took one apart to see how it worked)

  83. Gregg Roberts

    Gregg Roberts15 days ago

    I have a bunch of EV's but they aren't powered. They are passive. Sometimes I wish I bought JBL's though.

  84. Ferd The Terd

    Ferd The Terd15 days ago

    Wow even here these idiots want Co2 gone... We can turn Co2 into Oxygen we should want more of it

  85. MiladM

    MiladM15 days ago

    I.wish there were.more people like him🙏

  86. HobbyRob

    HobbyRob15 days ago

    I wish jb straubel and his companions all the best, because this is the kind of thing we have to have! Let's mine less and recycle more! If I pay tax on something, let it be on there/that! I wish the people who are working on to that/it, all the best! Healthy and Kind Greetings! Rob

  87. John R

    John R16 days ago

    Glad to see there's an adult in the room.

  88. John Childress

    John Childress16 days ago

    I was going to watch this,then saw the CNBC logo and quickly scanned it.

  89. Don Duncan

    Don Duncan16 days ago

    "I'm worried this (materials shortage) could be a bottleneck." Typical CEO. You can bet Tesla, thanks to Elon, has/will solve this.

  90. Tom Rogers

    Tom Rogers16 days ago

    All these smug EV owners are going to lose their grins when they get hit for multi thousand dollar bills when their precious batteries die after few years of driving!

  91. Jesse Morales

    Jesse Morales16 days ago

    This is changing the planet for good Good job 👏

  92. Earl Bennett

    Earl Bennett16 days ago much is this going to cost the average guy

  93. Ahmed Hammodi

    Ahmed Hammodi16 days ago

    In Iraq we care about the environment, 40 millions dump their engine oil, batteries, plastic waste and other trash in the tigris and euphrates rivers, we are the best 👍

  94. Alfian Syaifudin

    Alfian Syaifudin16 days ago

    That Nokia 3310 still ring the alarm when someone want to dismember it using Diamonds cutter.

  95. VRtechman

    VRtechman16 days ago

    The way I see it, this problem is SO BIG Tesla and its subsidiaries will ask permission from the U.S. government for a contract to hire Prisoners at corporate run facilities to help recycle these materials! Who knows it may turn out to be a good thing! 😬 But I doubt it! 😑

  96. Ben B

    Ben B16 days ago

    thats was a dump question to ask if is he profitable?of course how is he getting all that machine and facilities...he definitely profiting huge.less work to mine it and refine it ,no ground digging.they don’t need to go buy land to mine but the material come to them and they break it down and separating many material they can recover them..even gold and silver

  97. Ben B

    Ben B16 days ago

    why work for Tesla’s when he can sale to tesla’s what they dump away and make $$$$


    AKHIL RAJ16 days ago

    Nice use of FIBC bags

  99. Anon Anon

    Anon Anon17 days ago

    Lucid :)