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

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

Bob Robust | Reuters

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

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, has scheduled a information convention in Topeka in the present day 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, often known as the Gigafactory (or Gigafactory 1). That sprawling facility was sluggish to attain profitability on account of excessive defect charges and slower-than-anticipated mass manufacturing, Nikkei reported, nevertheless it grew to become worthwhile in 2021.

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

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

So far, Elon Musk’s electrical car firm has principally relied on Panasonic and different distributors together with CATL in China, for battery cells that go into their vehicles’ high-voltage battery packs, and into the corporate’s power storage methods for house, business 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 Methods to assist with this goal.

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

Panasonic will not be alone in increasing its battery manufacturing investments within the U.S.

In January this yr, General Motors and LG Power announced plans to speculate greater than $2 billion into a brand new battery plant in Michigan. And Jeep-maker Stellantis and Samsung are investing round $2.5 billion into a battery plant in Kokomo, Indiana, to assist the automaker transition to electrical automobiles.

In response to analysis by Canalys, world gross sales of battery electrical automobiles amounted to 4.5 million items in 2021, representing about 69% of general electrical car gross sales together with plug-in hybrid electrics.

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