Panasonic secures US graphite supply
Novonix will provide firm with 10,000 t/yr synthetic graphite from 2025
Panasonic Energy — the battery division of Panasonic — has signed a deal to buy 10,000 t/yr synthetic graphite from Australian firm Novonix from 2025.
The synthetic graphite will be sourced from Novonix’s Riverside facility in Tennessee to support Panasonic Energy’s North American operations, where the latter plans to ramp up production of EV batteries.
“As we continue to grow as an EV battery leader in North America, we are thrilled about the partnership with Novonix, which will bring innovative technologies to key anode material,” says Shoichiro Watanabe, CTO of Panasonic Energy.
Graphite is the main component of lithium-ion battery anodes used in electric vehicles (EVs).
At the end of last year China — the world’s leading supplier of graphite — introduced new export tariffs on the material, leading to growing interest in domestic supply amongst US battery manufacturers.
Both firms will be eligible for production credits under the US inflation Reduction Act as part of the deal — Novonix for key critical mineral supply and Panasonic for domestic manufacturing of battery cells.
Novonix’s Riverside facility is slated to begin production in late 2024, with plans to grow output to 20,000 t/yr. The facility was recently awarded a $100mn grant under the US Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Novonix plans to pursue off take deals with other cell manufacturers in addition to Panasonic Energy.
The 10,000 tonne off-take volume commitment with Panasonic Energy is subject to Novonix achieving certain milestones regarding production.
The battery manufacturer has the right to reduce the off-take volume by up to 20pc if these milestones are not achieved by the required dates, or terminate the agreement if there is a substantial delay.
The agreement also includes a mechanism for price adjustments in response to any significant changes in raw material costs.