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Panasonic is planning a large battery cell factory in the US to supply Tesla’s demand, report says

Panasonic is reportedly planning to build a large battery cell factory in the United States to supply Tesla, according to a new report from Japan.

Tesla and Panasonic already built a factory together in the US: Gigafactory Nevada.

While the facility hasn’t grown to the size that the companies originally planned, it was a great part of Tesla’s growth in the past few years, and it helped Panasonic become a major player supplying battery cells in the automotive sector.

Now it looks like the two companies are planning to replicate this success on an even larger scale.

Japan’s NHK reports that Panasonic is currently in the process of purchasing land in the United States to build a “mega-factory” to build battery cells for Tesla (via Reuters):

Japan’s Panasonic Corp is looking to purchase land in the United States for a mega-factory to make a new type of electric vehicle (EV) battery for Tesla Inc, public broadcaster NHK reported on Friday.

The report also states that Panasonic is zeroing in on “Oklahoma or Kansas” for the location of the factory:

Panasonic is looking at building the factory, to cost several billion dollars, in either Oklahoma or Kansas for their proximity to Texas, where Tesla is preparing a new EV plant, NHK reported. NHK gave no timeline for Panasonic’s U.S. project.

Panasonic recently confirmed plans to start production of Tesla’s 4680 battery cell by March 2024, but that will happen at a factory in Japan.

If accurate, these unconfirmed plans would mean a brand new factory built from the ground up to support Tesla’s rapidly growing production in the United States – specifically in Texas where Tesla just started production of the Model Y.

The automaker is currently using 4680 battery cells that the company is building itself at a pilot production plant in California and deploying its own battery cell production capacity at Gigafactory Texas.

However, Tesla has made it clear that it would buy any cell it could get its hands on from suppliers for the foreseeable future.

The company is expected to have exceptional demand for battery cells at Gigafactory Texas once it starts production of Cybertruck and Tesla Semi, which are vehicle programs that require more battery cells per unit.

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