Panasonic plans Tesla round cells with more recycled content

Panasonic battery cells from the Gigafactory in Nevada, operated together with Tesla, are to use more recycled materials in future as part of an expanded partnership with start-up Redwood Materials.

Panasonic announced at the CES technology show that Redwood Materials will start producing copper foil from recycled materials in the first half of 2022, which will be used in Panasonic and Tesla cell production from the end of 2022. At Gigafactory 1, Panasonic builds 2170 round cells that will be used in the US-made Model 3 and Model Y.

Redwood later confirmed the collaboration on Twitter. “This is the first time batteries will be recycled, remanufactured and shipped back to the same factory in a closed loop,” the company said.

The copper foil is produced by Redwood from material that the company has extracted from discarded lithium-ion batteries – not exclusively from electric cars, but also from consumer electronics such as mobile phone batteries, laptops, power tools, power banks or vehicles such as electric kick scooters and e-bikes. Panasonic will use this copper foil in Gigafactory 1 as a carrier foil for anode production – in other words, it will coat it with graphite.

The carrier foil is therefore only a passive material in the cell chemistry. Whether and when recycled active materials such as lithium, nickel or cobalt will also be used at the cathode and graphite at the anode is not clear from the reports.

Redwood Materials was founded in 2017 by the then Tesla CTO JB Straubel; since leaving Tesla, Straubel has been looking after the recycling start-up full-time. In the meantime, the company has not only raised several hundred million dollars from investors, but has also entered into numerous collaborations – for example with the battery cell manufacturer Envision AESC or Ford to process production waste from the cell manufacturing of the joint venture BlueOvalSK.

As recently as September, Redwood announced that it would not only recycle the material but also produce battery materials from it itself. A location for this factory is to be announced by the beginning of 2022 in order to produce cathode materials and anode foils from the recycled raw materials there – Redwood has now found prominent customers for the latter with Panasonic (and thus indirectly with Tesla).,


about „Panasonic plans Tesla round cells with more recycled content“

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *