Panasonic has begun construction on a new lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in De Soto, Kansas. The start of production is scheduled for March 2025 and should start with 2170 battery cells. Tesla Giga Texas is expected to become Panasonic's main customer.
The construction of a new Panasonic factory in Kansas aims to rapidly ramp up production of 2170 cylindrical lithium-ion batteries to meet the growing domestic demand for electric vehicle batteries. Panasonic Energy plans to begin mass production by March 2025, according to a press release. Once completed, the facility will have an annual total production capacity of approximately 30 GWh to supply to electric vehicle manufacturers across the United States.
“This groundbreaking in Kansas is an important step towards expanding our production capacity in North America to meet the rapidly growing demand for lithium-ion batteries,” said Kazuo Tadanobu, President, CEO of Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd. “With our leading technology, proven expertise, and the state of Kansas as a critical partner, we will continue driving the industry forward while pursuing a more prosperous and sustainable future for our society.”
The facility will be located on the territory of Astra Enterprise Park. Two contractors from the local Kansas City area, Emery Sapp & Sons Inc. and Kissick Construction Co. Inc. have been awarded site preparation contracts, and Panasonic Energy expects to bring in additional firms in the coming months.
The facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs and recruitment will begin as early as mid-2023. “Panasonic deeply values the strong relationships we build with the local communities where we live and work,” said Megan Myungwon Lee, Chairwoman and CEO, Panasonic Corporation of North America. “This factory will open new career opportunities for De Soto residents in one of the most exciting industries in our modern economy. We hope it will also serve as a source of inspiration for the community's young people, who will become the innovators creating a more vibrant and sustainable future, and we are committed to helping them achieve their goals.”
Although Panasonic said it would start production at the new factory with 2170 battery cells, the company also mentioned its development of the 4680 battery, which is currently exclusive and was designed by Tesla. This may serve as a hint that, in the future, production lines for batteries of a new form factor may be installed at the new factory. Panasonic said it continues to strengthen its automotive lithium-ion battery line and expand its manufacturing capacity, currently developing a new 4680 high-capacity lithium-ion battery in Japan.
“Expanding production capacity in Kansas will enable us to continue delivering the highest quality batteries for our automotive partners as demand grows,” said Kris Takamoto, Executive Vice President of Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., Head of EV Battery Business. “We are already producing more than five million battery cells a day in North America, and the new facility in Kansas will further grow our capacity, efficiency and economies of scale which are critical to a net-zero emissions future.”
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
We appreciate your readership! Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.