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Panasonic chooses Kansas City for what it claims will be the world’s largest battery factory

Battery maker Panasonic Energy has announced plans to build an electric vehicle battery factory in the Kansas City area. And this plant, which will be Panasonic’s first in the US outside of its partnership with Tesla, it claims will be the largest battery factory in the world.

Panasonic says the plant, which will create up to 4,000 jobs and reflect an investment of about $4 billion, will produce lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. According to the Kansas City Area Development Council, the “biggest” requirement here concerns the size of the expected investment – although once more specifics are confirmed, it may also refers to the plant area and/or the expected annual GWh.

Its customers are likely to be Tesla as well as other automakers that plan to use cylindrical cells. The announcement came after months of reports that Panasonic had reviewed a “big factory” in Oklahoma or Kansas, aiming to “mass produce new high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that greatly increase the range of EVs,” according to Japan. NHK March.

Panasonic announces battery

Panasonic announces battery

Panasonic and Tesla broke ground in Sparks, Nevada, on a Gigafactory battery contract in 2014 — then spectacularly large—With the factory increase in 2017. Based on NikkeiGigafactory has been profitable for Panasonic since last year.

Tesla and Panasonic renewed their commitment to batteries in 2020 but did not expand the Gigafactory before its current capacity of nearly 40 GWh per year.

From Kansas City, it could be a good place strategically — to supply Tesla in Austin or to supply Rivian in Illinois. Panasonic will provide Oh to Canoo, the company recently announced a deal with Walmart. Ford also assembles E-Transit . truck in the Kansas City area, and Panasonic has a history with Ford as a supplier of cells for their hybrid vehicles such as Escape Hybrid.

panasonic battery

panasonic battery

The company hasn’t confirmed exactly what types of cells will be produced at the new plant — and whether final plans there include making Tesla’s 4680 Format, although it has been widely speculated that this is the reason behind the location and timing of the plant. All images provided with notice are of cylindrical cells.

The plant is subject to approval from Panasonic Holdings’ board of directors, and according to a statement from the company and regional economic development organizations, it will be the largest economic development project in the state’s history.

UPDATE 7/13/2022 to reflect that the “world’s largest” claim for this plant is based on an expected monetary investment.

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