Panasonic invests more in graphite supply for the North American market

阪神強いなプラス(Japanese User), CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Panasonic Energy signed a seven-year agreement with Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. (NMG). The deal with NMG will further solidify Panasonic’s goal to strengthen its EV battery supply chain in North America. 

NMG is an active anode material manufacturer based in Quebec, Canada. Panasonic Energy’s graphite supply deal with NMG starts with an investment of USD$25 million. The Tesla battery supplier also plans to invest additional funding of USD$ 150 million with co-investors. 

As per the agreement, NMG will follow a mine-to-battery-material model with natural graphite from its Matawinie Mine in Quebec. The Canadian company will produce anode active materials at its battery material plant in Bécancour. 

Panasonic Energy also signed an agreement with Novonix, a battery materials and technology company in Queensland, Australia. The deal between Panasonic and Novonix was also for a supply of graphite for electric vehicle (EV) battery production. 

The United States Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 has emphasized the importance of sourcing battery materials from specific countries—usually those within North America or that have a trade agreement with the United States. Given the IRA’s strict battery sourcing requirements, Panasonic’s moves are well thought-out and will likely place the battery supplier in a better position in the future.

Panasonic’s interest in graphite might not be surprise, considering one of its top clients has also been heavily investing in the battery material. Tesla has signed a few purchase agreements for graphite over the years

In 2021, Tesla signed an agreement to purchase battery-ready graphite from Melbourne-based Syrah Resources Ltd. In 2022, Tesla started looking for battery material sources outside of China. One of the locations the US-based automaker considered was Balama, Mozambique—one of the world’s largest graphite mines

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Maria Merano: Veteran writer and editor, who believes harmony between tech and nature is achievable. We just need to learn to compromise.
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