Panasonic Corporation, a supplier of Tesla battery cells, has embarked on a new lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in De Soto, Kansas, contributing approximately 30 GWh of annual capacity in North America.
The facility will focus on accelerating the manufacture of 2,170 cylinder cells to meet the growing domestic demand within the United States. Panasonic plans to mass-produce battery cells by March 2025 and, upon completion of the facility, will add 30 gigawatt-hours of battery supply capacity to electric vehicle companies in the United States.
Kazuo Tadanobu, President and CEO of Panasonic Energy, Ltd., commented on the announcement:
“This is the flagship of kansas It is an important step towards expanding our production capacity in North Amarica To meet the rapidly growing demand for lithium-ion batteries. With our leading technology, proven experience and condition kansas As an essential partner, we will continue to drive the industry forward while striving for a more prosperous and sustainable future for our society. “
The establishment of an additional battery production plant in Kansas instigates Panasonic’s intent to take control of being a supplier of electric vehicle batteries to many car companies in the United States. While the company already supplies batteries to Tesla through its Gigafactory Nevada, the Kansas production facility is expected to convert the cells to Gigafactory Texas, where Tesla currently uses 2,170 and 4,680 cells for its latest Model Y designs.
Panasonic landed in Kansas as a factory site back in July but it’s likely that it has located plots of land in nearby Oklahoma. KS offered more benefits, including a large variety of talent expected to fill 4,000 factory jobs. Panasonic is investing $4 billion in the plant, and Tadanobu said the facility will help boost production capacity in a growing demand market.
“As the global shift toward electric vehicles accelerates, we are looking at ways to boost our battery production capacity in North America and meet the growing demand from our automotive partners,” Tadanobu said last month.
While Panasonic only explicitly mentioned 2,170 cells in its ad, the company is expected to eventually move on to producing 4,680 cells at the plant. Tesla and Panasonic are working together to develop the 4680 cell, which Tesla revealed at a Battery Day event in late 2020.
Panasonic reportedly sent 4,680 samples to Tesla in June. Tadanobu said that large-scale prototype production of 4,680 cells is expected to be launched in Japan in May 2023.
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