The world's largest EV battery factory is getting ready - It's from Panasonic

Panasonic is setting up its second battery plant in the US
(Image credit: Kyodo News)

Panasonic Energy Co, a Panasonic Group company, will invest close to $4 billion in what is widely believed to be the world's largest electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in Kansas, the US. The new plant, which when fully ready will hire as many as 4,000 employees, is being set up to supply high-capacity lithium-ion battery to Tesla. Panasonic has identified a site in De Soto, Kansas for this project. Its proximity to Texas where Tesla is setting up a plant is one of the reasons for Panasonic choosing this location.

"With the increased electrification of the automotive market, expanding battery production in the US is critical to help meet demand," Kazuo Tadanobu, President, CEO of Panasonic Energy, said.

Panasonic's plans

Panasonic's announcement comes five years after Panasonic Group began production of lithium-ion batteries at Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA) in Nevada. PENA is now one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery factories, surpassing six billion EV battery cells shipped. Panasonic invested close to $1.8 billion in the Gigafactory. The Nevada plant began mass-producing batteries in 2017. PENA’s  operations in Nevada, which is jointly operated with Tesla, will continue even after the new facility in Kansas kicks into production. The new plant will use an incentive approved by the Kansas state government. Panasonic Energy has a 100-year history in  batteries spanning both battery cell technology and battery business operations.

Panasonic is also investing huge amounts the revamp of its plant near Osaka, japan. It hopes to begin mass-producing its next-generation battery cell in 2023 to supply to Tesla. Panasonic expects to quadruple its production of EV batteries by 2028.

The cost of battery materials is rising with inflation, increased electric vehicle production, and supply chain complications.

Many companies like Samsung and LG have announced plans to invest in new battery plants in the US, as the general belief that EVs would replace petroleum vehicles gains more ground.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.