Tesla Co-Founder Wants in on Electric Truck Battery Market
When you think of Tesla Motors, the human you are most likely to think of is Elon Musk. This article is instead about JB Straubel. He was the fifth employee to work at Tesla who only left the company as late as 2019, and now has his own company, Redwood Materials Inc.. It appears as though Straubel may find himself butting heads against Musk in the future, as Redwood Materials has secured a massive deal in regards to the recycling and production of electric battery cells.
Redwood Materials has signed an agreement with Panasonic Energy of North America, enabling the former company to be the supplier of high-nickel cathode to Panasonic.
Exact details of the agreement are under wraps, but Straubel has let loose these tidbits of information:
- Starting in 2025, Redwood Materials will sell them the cathode, which can be anywhere from 33% to 50% of the battery cost.
- The production of these cathodes will be made entirely in the United States, scoring points for the American supply chain.
- The deal between the two companies covers billions upon billions of dollars in goods.
The batteries are planned to be used in a variety of different products, but most importantly in electric vehicles, which will no doubt include the heavy-duty trucks of the future. Some of the cathodes provided by Redwood may even find their way into Tesla Semis, as the Gigafactory in Nevada, the same state where Redwood is headquartered, is run as a joint operation between Tesla Motors and Panasonic.
“I think it’s a bigger deal than is immediately obvious to most people just because no one really sees or is familiar with what a cathode material is or where it goes,” said Straubel. He hopes that one day cathodes will become as ubiquitous as a piston.
With the announcement of this deal, the race to fulfill market demand for fully-electric trucks is tightening. It will certainly be exciting to see the end results, and perhaps one day TopMark Funding will provide funding to fleets looking to expand into the realm of electric commercial motor vehicles.
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