The Battery Supply Chain Is Finally Coming to America

It’s official: the supply chain for electric vehicle batteries is coming to America.

Redwood Materials Inc., the battery recycling company created by Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel, said it has reached a deal to supply Panasonic with billions of dollars in critical battery components that will be produced in the US for the first time.

The agreement marks the first major contract for domestically processed cathode material, a substance that’s responsible for more than one third of the expense of a finished battery pack. The material will supply Panasonic’s new battery plant in Kansas City, Kansas, when mass production begins there in 2025. The plant is expected to produce cells primarily for Tesla electric vehicles.

“Panasonic has been a partner for many years, but this is very significant,” Straubel said in an interview. “This is a large portion of their cathode supply. It’s such an impactful announcement for the US supply chain in general—and of course for us as a company.”

Straubel declined to specify the amounts of material to be supplied or the specific price structure, other than to say that it would total billions of dollars over several years.