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Panasonic Energy Plans De Soto, Kansas, EV Battery Factory

07/18/2022
Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., plans to build a state-of-the-art electric vehicle (EV) battery facility in De Soto, Kansas. The $4 billion project is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs in the Kansas City region.

The company has identified a site pending approval by Panasonic Holdings Corporation Board of Directors. The new location will create and supply lithium-ion batteries and accelerate the future of electric vehicle innovation on a global scale.

"With the increased electrification of the automotive market, expanding battery production in the U.S. is critical to help meet demand," said Kazuo Tadanobu, President, CEO of Panasonic Energy. "Given our leading technology and depth of experience, we aim to continue driving growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and accelerating towards a net-zero emissions future.”

Panasonic Energy’s current U.S. battery manufacturing operation has shipped more than six billion EV battery cells. The company plans to expand its production of EV batteries as the automotive industry shifts to more sustainable electric technologies.

“As the largest private investment in Kansas history and one of the largest EV battery manufacturing plants of its kind in the country, this project will be transformative for our state’s economy, providing in total 8,000 high-quality jobs that will help more Kansans create better lives for themselves and their children,” said Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. “Winning this project has shown that Kansas has what it takes to compete on a global scale, and that our pro-business climate is driving the technological innovation needed to achieve a more prosperous and sustainable future.”

A key component of the site selection decision was the enactment of the bipartisan Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion (APEX) Act earlier this year, according to state officials.

“Once Governor Kelly signed APEX into law, the state gained the necessary economic development tool to pursue megaprojects that could transform the Kansas economy,” explained Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland. “Panasonic recognized Kansas as not just a contender, but as the ideal partner for this revolutionary project.”

Kansas has an established battery manufacturing sector with seven establishments employing approximately 1,300 individuals. The state ranked second in the nation for employment and wage concentration in the sector in 2021.

“Panasonic Energy made the right choice to select the Kansas City region due to our market’s strengths in EV and tech innovation,” said Tim Cowden, President and CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council. “This announcement, alongside FIFA’s selection of KC as 2026 World Cup host city, our new single-terminal airport coming online and global tech companies investing in the market, reinforces the transformational success our region is having on a global scale.”

Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA) is a large-scale, advanced battery manufacturer, operating inside Tesla’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada. The company supplies cylindrical lithium-ion cells and is one of the world’s largest lithium ion battery cell producers. PENA works towards the vision of affordable electric vehicles and a clean energy society by producing the world’s safest, highest quality, and lowest cost batteries.

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