Japan’s Panasonic Holdings Corp said on Monday that it will start building a new battery plant in the US state of Kansas next month.
The conglomerate said it picked Kansas to target supplies to Tesla Inc as it wades into America’s booming electric vehicle (EV) market.
The plant is scheduled to to be capable of mass production by 2025, joining other battery suppliers in taking advantage of new US EV tax credit rules.
Kansas State Officials Hail Decision
Kansas state officials said in July the new factory would create up to 4,000 jobs after an investment of up to $4 billion, pending final approval by Panasonic’s board.
“As the global shift to EVs accelerates, we are looking into ways to strengthen our battery production capacity in North America and meet the growing demand from our automotive partners,” said Kazuo Tadanobu, president of Panasonic Energy Co, in the statement.
The company said the factory would produce its 2170 model lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles.
CATL Profit Growth
Its rivals, China’s CATL and South Korea’s Energy Solution, posted strong battery profit growth after they passed some of their cost increases to clients.
Panasonic posted an 11% drop in second-quarter operating profit, as prices rose for raw materials and logistics.
It has in recent years shifted focus from electronics to building parts and supplying services to other businesses, including batteries for Tesla’s electric cars.
Panasonic has said that, by 2029, it plans to expand its battery production capacity by three to four times, with most of the increase in North America.
- Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon