Accelerating the Growth of a Domestic Supply Chain for Electric Vehicles—Why the Inflation Reduction Act is Critical

Devin Horne
Devin Horne

Devin manages Panasonic’s battery public policy. He previously served at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he supported the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, the White House’s report on battery supply chains, and led Department-wide efforts to promote U.S. clean tech companies.

Devin Horne
February 22, 2023

The electric vehicle industry is growing fast in the United States, but it needs more investment to meet tomorrow’s challenges. For years, Panasonic has been quietly fueling this growth by building the best-in-class EV batteries. However, urgent priorities ranging from climate change to U.S. economic competitiveness and national security demand a holistic policy approach that accelerates the adoption of sustainable transportation in America.

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a critical step toward supercharging the industry, but it is just the beginning. Meeting our future needs will require the successful implementation of the IRA and a continued focus on policies that encourage domestic manufacturing, support workforce development, and drive consumer and government EV demand.

While we have a long way to go, the industry should take pride in how far we have progressed to create a robust, domestic battery supply chain. Prior to the IRA incentives taking effect in January 2023, Panasonic remained a leader in the industry:            

Despite all the good news and progress, more is needed to meet the challenges we face, and, the IRA could not be more important to the future of the industry, the United States’ global economic position, and the sustainability of our planet. We encourage federal policymakers to continue to produce opportunities for continued research and development of lithium-ion battery composition, expand workforce development, and domestic critical mineral extraction to meet the industry’s growing demand.

While the U.S. EV industry made strong, steady progress in recent years, the following was also true:

The IRA is a critical first step that will push the entire industry to meet these challenges together. Panasonic is committed to working with partners to create a more prosperous, secure, and sustainable future.

  • Supply Chain: We are committed to building our supply chains to North America through new partnerships. For example, Panasonic recently announced a feasibility study with Noveau Monde Group in Quebec, Canada, to explore sourcing graphite for anode materials. This opportunity would provide greater supply security and flexibility by sourcing from a key trade partner, treaty ally, and market-based economy—and eliminates thousands of miles in shipping. 
  • Building a Circular Economy: We partner with Redwood, which has been recycling cell production scrap from the Gigafactory in Nevada since 2019. Panasonic is thrilled to expand this partnership with a recent announcement to source Redwood’s cathode material for battery cell production at our new Kansas facility in 2025 and recycled copper foil starting in 2024 at the Gigafactory in Nevada. The U.S. Department of Energy’s recent announcement of a $2 billion conditional loan commitment to Redwood reinforces the importance of our partnership as we seek to achieve a sustainable, circular economy.
  • Creating the Next Generation Workforce: The EV and battery workforce will need new skills as the industry expands. Panasonic already employs a significant workforce at the Gigafactory in Nevada, and we look forward to expanding our team in Kansas. We’re excited to meet tomorrow’s workforce needs by collaborating with partners like Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in Reno, NV, to create the TMCC-Panasonic Advanced Manufacturing Training Center. 
  • Growing to meet demand: In addition to building a new facility in Kansas, we’re also working with new partners, like Lucid Group, to supply the full range of innovative vehicles coming to market.

The passage of the IRA puts us on a path to strengthen battery and EV supply chains together, help the industry move toward a more sustainable future faster, create thousands of new American jobs, and drive U.S. competitiveness. Seamless and efficient implementation of the IRA by all government and private sector stakeholders, along with a focus on workforce development and true partnership between industry, government, and our international allies, will accelerate our progress along that path. Panasonic is proud of our role in expanding U.S. production, and we stand with the entire industry, in our eagerness to turn today’s challenges into tomorrow’s opportunities.

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About ZETA

National policies to support 100% electric vehicle sales.

The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) is a federal coalition focused on advocating for 100% EV sales. Enacting policies that drive EV adoption will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, secure American global EV manufacturing dominance, drastically improve public health, and significantly reduce carbon pollution.