Tesla battery partner Panasonic to start building Kansas factory next month

Tesla battery partner Panasonic has stated that it intends to start the buildout of its Kansas, US plant this November. With such an aggressive timeframe for the facility, Panasonic is reportedly looking to start mass production at the plant by March 2025. 

With its Kansas plant, Panasonic is making a serious play for the United States’ fast-growing electric vehicle segment. Panasonic is already supplying batteries for Tesla through Gigafactory Nevada. The upcoming Kansas plant is expected to provide batteries for Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas facility. 

Back in July, Panasonic noted that it had picked Kansas as a new site for its battery factory, though later reports suggested that the Japanese conglomerate is looking at a possible Oklahoma facility as well. Panasonic, for its part, has stated that it expects the upcoming Kansas plant’s initial production capacity to be around 30 GWh. 

Kansas officials have shared their excitement for Panasonic’s new battery plant. State officials noted back in July that the facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs with an investment of up to $4 billion. In a statement, Kazuo Tadanobu, president of Panasonic Energy Co., explained that the company is looking to strengthen its battery production capacity in North America. 

“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,” Tadanobu said. 

As noted in a Reuters report, Panasonic would be producing 2170 cells in its Kansas plant. However, expectations are also high that the Japanese company would be producing Tesla’s newer and larger 4680 cells in the facility. Tesla and Panasonic are currently working together to develop 4680 cells, with the Japanese battery maker expected to start production of the new batteries in Japan during its next fiscal year. 

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