On Tuesday, January 4, Panasonic announced that Redwood Materials would start supplying copper foil to its battery production facility in Giga Nevada. The Japanese tech giant announced the news during the 2022 CES tech trade show.
“Our work together to establish a domestic circular supply chain for batteries is an important step in realizing the full opportunity that EVs have to shape a much more sustainable world,” said Allan Swan, the President of Panasonic Energy of North America, at the latest CES tech trade show.
By the end of 2022, @PanasonicNA will include Redwood’s copper foil, produced from recycled materials, back into new battery production at the Gigafactory. This will be the first time batteries will be recycled, remanufactured and returned to the same factory in a closed loop. https://t.co/w60pbK3ZJm
— Redwood Materials (@RedwoodMat) January 4, 2022
Redwood Materials, which former Tesla CTO JB Straubel founded, will be supplying Panasonic with copper foil made from recycled materials. The company recycles scripts from discarded electronics like cell phone batteries, laptops, power tools, and even scooters and electric bicycles. Redwood extracts materials like cobalt, nickel, and lithium, which are usually mined, from discarded electronics.
As for battery cell production, copper foil is an essential component to the anode or negative side of batteries. The anode is typically made of copper foil and coated with graphite. In September 2021, Redwood Materials announced plans to produce sustainable battery materials, specifically anode copper foil and cathode active materials. The cathode would be the positive side of batteries.
According to Tech Crunch, Redwood revealed that it had recently purchased 100 acres of land near Gigafactory Nevada. Straubel’s company plans to build a $2 billion factory. Redwood aims to produce 100GWh per year of cathode active materials and anode foils for one million electric vehicles by 2025. The deal with Panasonic suggests that Tesla cars will be among the first to use Redwood’s cathode and anode materials, along with Ford, which forged a partnership with Straubel’s company on September 22, 2021.
Redwood will start producing copper foil by the first half of the year and will begin supplying Panasonic with the anode material by the end of 2022.