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Panasonic aims for at least 30 GWh of batteries at new Kansas factory expected to supply Tesla

Panasonic announced today that it aims to produce 30 GWh of battery cells during the first phase of its new Kansas factory expected to supply Tesla’s vehicle production.

Earlier this summer, Panasonic announced plans to build a new battery cell factory in Kansas to supply Tesla with more battery cells.

Today, the Japanese battery manufacturer released more information about the project.

We now know that Panasonic is planning to break ground in De Soto, Kansas, as soon as next month:

Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., a Panasonic Group company, will begin construction in November 2022 of its new facility that will produce cylindrical Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV). The facility in De Soto, Kansas will be the Company’s second EV battery facility in the U.S., following the Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA) facility in Sparks, Nevada.

De Soto is located just outside of Kansas City on the Kansas side:

Panasonic also clarified what it plans to produce at the new plant. It was believed that Panasonic might produce Tesla’s new 4680 battery cell format at the plant, but the company actually confirmed that, at least for the first phase, it will produce 2170 battery cells – pictured above.

Tesla is also the world’s biggest consumer of 2170 cells, which is used in most of its electric vehicles today.

Panasonic said that it is aiming for a production of 30 GWh during the first phase of the factory:

Initially, the new manufacturing facility in Kansas will expand the existing production of Panasonic’s 2170 EV batteries, which are currently in high demand from customers. Launching the facility with 2170 batteries ensures Panasonic can begin fulfilling customer orders quickly. Mass production is targeted to begin by the end of March 2025, with the initial production capacity of the new facility expected to be 30 GWh.

The company made it clear that it will expand beyond that capacity in future phases.

Kazuo Tadanobu, president, CEO of Panasonic Energy Co, commented on today’s announcement:

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. With our superior technology and extensive experience, we will drive the growth of the Li-ion battery industry, accelerate our efforts to achieve zero emissions in the future, and work toward our mission of achieving a society in which the pursuit of happiness and a sustainable environment are harmonized.

The 30 GWh capacity puts the new plant in the “Gigafactory” level and should enable the production of around 400,000 electric vehicles per year.

The factory is also strategically located in the middle of the US so it can supply growing electric vehicle production all around the country, including Tesla, which has been Panasonic’s biggest partner in battery production.

The new factory is going to be located around 700 miles from Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas, where most of the automaker’s new production capacity is expected to come from for the next few years in the US.

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