Panasonic to Build $4 Billion EV Battery Factory in Kansas

Japan’s Panasonic is set to build a $4 billion battery plant in Kansas. The plant is aimed to supply electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla with a new high capacity battery. It will increase Panasonic’s production capacity by 2028 from the current level of 50  gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year to between 150 and 200 GWh.

Panasonic, the world’s third biggest battery producer behind China’s CATL and South Korea’s LG Energy Solution, already operates a $5 billion plant in Nevada with Tesla.

One of the primary reasons Panasonic picked Kansas for the site of the new facility is because of its proximity to Texas, where Tesla moved its headquarters last year.

The factory is expected to hire as many as 4,000 employees and include a facility for research in next-generation 4680 battery, which Panasonic plans to mass produce from 2023.

Panasonic Energy President and CEO Tadanobu said with the increased electrification of the automotive market, it was crucial for the company to expand U.S. battery production in order to meet growing demand.

Tadanobu added that the company was aiming to continue driving growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and accelerating towards a net-zero emissions future.

The newly planned plant is part of Panasonic’s push to increase investment in EV cell production, a segment the 104-year-old Japanese electronics giant sees as critical for future growth.

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