Panasonic new manufacturing facility in Kansas to provide batteries for Tesla, EVs

An aerial view of the Tesla Gigafactory close to Sparks, Nevada

Bob Sturdy | Reuters

Panasonic is planning to construct a brand new battery manufacturing facility in Kansas to provide high-capacity cells for Tesla, in keeping with a report out Wednesday from Nikkei Asia.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, has scheduled a information convention in Topeka at present at 5 native time the place she’s anticipated to announce particulars on the Panasonic plant.

Panasonic beforehand invested in and collectively operates a battery manufacturing facility with Tesla in Sparks, Nevada, exterior of Reno, generally known as the Gigafactory (or Gigafactory 1). That sprawling facility was sluggish to realize profitability attributable to excessive defect charges and slower-than-anticipated mass manufacturing, Nikkei reported, however it grew to become worthwhile in 2021.

Tesla’s urge for food for battery cells is rising together with its ambitions to ramp up automobile manufacturing at new factories close to Austin, Texas, and Berlin. The corporate reported annual automobile deliveries of 936,172 in 2021, an 87% improve from 2020. The price of battery supplies is rising with inflation, elevated electrical automobile manufacturing, and provide chain problems exacerbated by the continued pandemic and Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.

An area information outlet, the Kansas Metropolis Star, beforehand reported that Panasonic might find its new manufacturing facility, which is anticipated to make use of round 4,000 individuals, at a former ammunition manufacturing facility in De Soto, Kansas. The governor’s workplace and Panasonic didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

So far, Elon Musk’s electrical automobile firm has largely relied on Panasonic and different distributors together with CATL in China, for battery cells that go into their automobiles’ high-voltage battery packs, and into the corporate’s vitality storage methods for dwelling, industrial and grid-scale installations.

However Tesla has additionally been working to provide and commercially use its personal 4680 battery cells. It acquired Canadian battery manufacturing corporations together with Hibar Techniques to assist with this goal.

In October 2021, Tesla stated it could change the battery cell chemistry that it makes use of in all of its normal vary autos to make use of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cells relatively than nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) cells, which Tesla meant to maintain utilizing in its longer-range autos.

Panasonic isn’t alone in increasing its battery manufacturing investments within the U.S.

In January this 12 months, Common Motors and LG Power introduced plans to take a position greater than $2 billion into a brand new battery plant in Michigan. And Jeep-maker Stellantis and Samsung are investing round $2.5 billion right into a battery plant in Kokomo, Indiana, to assist the automaker transition to electrical autos.

In response to analysis by Canalys, international gross sales of battery electrical autos amounted to 4.5 million items in 2021, representing about 69% of total electrical automobile gross sales together with plug-in hybrid electrics.

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