Panasonic announced that it is going to purchase copper foil produced from recycled materials by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel’s Redwood Materials for battery cell production at Gigafactory Nevada. The materials will end up in Tesla vehicles – going full circle.
When JB Straubel left Tesla in 2019 to focus full-time on Redwood Materials, Tesla fans were disappointed because the engineer was critical to the company’s technological success. However, we suspected that Redwood Materials would eventually collaborate with Tesla and help the automaker solve some supply issues in the future.
While that’s not happening directly yet, it is happening indirectly through Panasonic.
Redwood Materials has been best known as a Nevada-based company developing new processes to recycle materials with a focus on electric car batteries, but the company recently announced that it is also getting into cathode and anode production with a 100 GWh battery material factory in the US. Redwood Materials is becoming a full-cycle battery material company.
During a presentation at CES, Allan Swan, President of Panasonic North America, announced:
“By the end of this year, we expect to include Redwood’s copper foil, produced from recycled materials, back into our new battery production.”
This anode copper foil from recycled material is going into Panasonic’s battery cell production at Gigafactory Nevada and will eventually end up in Tesla’s electric vehicles. Redwood Materials confirmed in a statement to Electrek that the company plans to start anode copper foil production in the first half of the year.
In short, starting this year, the company is already going to contribute to Tesla’s supply chain, which is growing fast as the automaker ramps up EV production at a record pace.