Electric Vehicles

Panasonic to Invest $4 Billion in Kansas EV Battery Plant

 

Panasonic Energy will invest some $4 billion to build one of the largest EV battery plants in the US, to be located in the midwestern US state of Kansas.

When completed, the plant will make new, high-capacity batteries for Tesla vehicles.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly was joined by Kazuo Tadanobu, president and CEO of Panasonic Energy, along with a number of state and federal officials, to announce the project at an event in the state capital Topeka on July 13.

Pending approval by the Panasonic Holdings’ board of directors, the new project will create up to 4,000 new permanent jobs, in addition to 16,500 construction jobs, according to a study by Wichita State University.

The state characterized the deal as the largest economic development project in its history.

Panasonic Energy’s current US battery manufacturing operation has shipped more than six billion EV battery cells, according to a statement by the Kansas Department of Commerce, saying the new investment will help expand domestic EV battery production as the US auto industry shifts to electric.

 

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“With the increased electrification of the automotive market, expanding battery production in the US is critical to help meet demand,” Tadanobu said. “Given our leading technology and depth of experience, we aim to continue driving growth of the lithium-ion battery industry.”

Kansas has an established battery manufacturing sector with seven facilities that employ over 1,300 people, making the state number two for employment and wage concentration in the sector, according to the Kansas Department of Commerce. Adding 4,000 more jobs to that total will make Kansas a leader in a fast-growing industry.

Speaking at the announcement event in Topeka, US Senator Jerry Moran, who represents Kansas, went out of his way to point out that the pandemic had underscored the importance of having production capacity for critical material inputs located in the US.

Panasonic Energy was created in April 2022 as part of the Panasonic Group and makes battery technology-based products and solutions, including automotive lithium-ion batteries, storage battery systems and dry batteries.

  • Neal McGrath

 

 

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Neal McGrath

Neal McGrath is a New York-based financial journalist. Neal started his career covering the Asia-Pacific region for the Economist Intelligence Unit, then joined Asian Business magazine. He's subsequently held a variety of editorial positions covering business, economics, finance and sustainability. Neal has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and the US.

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