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Tesla battery supplier Panasonic teases new U.S. facility to help with EV demand

Tesla battery supplier Panasonic has teased a new battery production facility in the United States that would help with the increasing demand for electric vehicles.

The new Panasonic plant could be built in Oklahoma, the company said in a statement to Reuters.

The battery maker has already entered into an agreement with the State of Oklahoma, as the two parties outlined both eligibility and terms of potential incentives that the Japanese company could receive as a part of the State’s Large-scale Economic Activity and Development, or LEAD, Act. This would give Panasonic access to nearly $700 million in capital investment rebates.

Nothing else has been agreed upon currently, but according to another report from The Oklahoman, Panasonic is requesting an additional $245 for community and infrastructure upgrades, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said.

These upgrades would include anything from daycares to fire stations and other additions that would likely put the deal “over the finish line.”

Panasonic is considering building the new facility in Pryor, Oklahoma, and it would be worth $5 billion and be 5 million square feet in size.

The plant is set to supplement not only Tesla but several other companies in the U.S. that are hoping to take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act that incentivizes companies to use U.S.-built battery packs and structure EV production domestically. BMW and Stellantis are just two companies that are hoping to use Panasonic as a supplier and have had discussions with Panasnoic about potential facilities in the U.S.

Panasonic also relies on the EV companies that are reaching out to potentially make deals for a battery supply deal. In February, the company said it would cut its 2023 outlook by 12.5 percent after missing earnings expectations and detailed how it would lean on automotive supply deals to help regain its footing.

A presentation during the company’s Earnings Call earlier this year said Panasonic would “focus on North America market where we can leverage advantages (high capacity) with established strong business foundation; Achieve profit growth by expanding sales of 2170 cells and commercializing 4680 cells.”

Strong partnerships with automotive companies are a key factor in Panasonic’s growth moving forward. Its long-standing relationship with Tesla indicates that it can handle large EV supply contracts and be a stable partner for companies looking to ramp up EV production.

Panasonic said last July that it would build an EV battery plant in Kansas to help supply cells to Tesla as it grows electric vehicle manufacturing in North America.

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