Redwood to Supply High-Nickel Cathode to Panasonic

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Despite the increasing demand, there is no cathode production at scale in North America today: Battery material maker Redwood

As per the latest reports, Panasonic will source Redwood Materials’ cathode material for battery cell production in its new Kansas plant. This plant is estimated to be operational by 2025. Redwood said that it is the first time cathode has been produced in North America at a ‘Gigafactory’ scale and used in U.S. battery cell manufacturing. There is no cathode production at scale in North America today despite the increasing demand for vast quantities of cathode material in the EV industry, noted the press release by Redwood.

The official statement pointed out that the global demand for lithium-ion batteries is projected to grow by more than 500% in the next decade. The main factor behind this whooping increase is the enhanced demand for more climate-change-combatting products. It further mentioned that a key component for all batteries is cathode material, which accounts for over half the cost of a battery cell. The cathode cost is significant because it contains all of the critical metals – lithium, nickel, and cobalt – in the battery and has a complex manufacturing process and functional specification that is integral to the performance and safety of an electric vehicle battery.

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The statement by Redwood noted that its partnership with Panasonic Energy of North America first began in 2019 and since then the cell production scrap from the Gigafactory in Nevada (in which Panasonic is the battery cell manufacturer) has been recycled by Redwood. It further added that Panasonic will also be the first long-term buyer of Redwood’s anode copper foil, another essential component in lithium-ion battery production. “With both anode and cathode components created from recycled materials, Redwood and Panasonic are establishing a truly closed-loop for domestic cell production,” stated the official release.

It emphasised the U.S. continuing to scale partnerships like these to meet increased domestic production of EVs while simultaneously helping to decrease cost, supply chain risks, and CO2 resulting from a global logistics footprint.

Redwood announced that they will be spending billions of dollars to scale their technology and facilities in the next few years to bring cathode online and ramp production to 100 GWh, enough for 1 million EVs by 2025. By 2030, Redwood expects its production of both anode and cathode to scale to 500 GWh/year of materials, which it says, will be enough to power five million electric vehicles.

Redwood’s statement concluded with the following words: “We’re grateful to our long-time partner, Panasonic, and excited to further accelerate a sustainable transportation future through our domestic anode and cathode material supply!”

Panasonic Holdings Corporation is a major Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation, headquartered in Kadoma, Osaka.

Redwood Materials, Inc. is an American company headquartered in Northern Nevada. The company aims to recycle lithium-ion batteries and produce battery materials for electromobility and electrical storage systems.


 

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