Panasonic Energy has signed a binding off-take agreement with the leading battery materials and technology company NOVONIX Limited, the main component of the anodes of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles.
In line with Panasonic Energy’s Medium- to Long-term Strategy to strengthen its North America-focused supply chain and reduce its environmental impact, the synthetic graphite will be utilized by Panasonic Energy’s EV battery manufacturing facilities in the U.S., with shipments scheduled to start in 2025 from NOVONIX’s facility in Tennessee.
By 2031, Panasonic Energy aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the entire lithium-ion battery supply chain for EVs by 50% compared to 2022 levels. The majority of emissions arise from resource mining, raw material processing, and logistics. Therefore, in addition to reducing the carbon footprint generated during battery manufacturing through the carbon neutralization of all factories, Panasonic Energy actively addresses environmental impact reduction in the upstream supply chain.
This agreement will allow Panasonic Energy to leverage NOVONIX’s innovative environmental technology and procure 10,000 tons of graphite from NOVONIX’s North American operations over a period of four years, a strategically important step in the reduction of the environmental impact of its supply chain.
There are two types of graphite for lithium-ion batteries: natural graphite and synthetic graphite. Synthetic graphite offers enhanced battery durability, allowing for reliable performance during repeated charging and discharging cycles. Synthetic graphite is traditionally produced by means of lengthy high-temperature treatment in an Acheson furnace, lasting 30 days per production cycle, with temperatures reaching up to 3,000℃. However, this production method poses challenges due to its high energy consumption and resulting CO2 emissions, and companies are actively developing innovative production methods to overcome these drawbacks.
NOVONIX’s proprietary graphitization furnaces are the first of its kind for large-scale production, enabling efficient mass production of synthetic graphite in just around three days per cycle. This innovation is expected to reduce the levels of CO2 emitted during the production of synthetic graphite compared to conventional Acheson furnaces. It represents a significant contribution towards Panasonic Energy’s goal of halving its carbon footprint, and demonstrates the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
In the North American market, encompassing the U.S. as the world’s second-largest for new car sales, Panasonic Energy aims to facilitate the widespread adoption of EVs by providing high-quality and high-capacity batteries that offer extended driving range. The company will leverage its expertise and experience to take the lead in the lithium-ion battery industry. Through strategic partnerships, it will accelerate its efforts towards achieving zero emissions and helping build a sustainable society.