Panasonic’s next battery plant is expected to be in Oklahoma but a final decision has yet to be made
Panasonic is looking to establish a third electric vehicle battery factory in North America as part of a plan to quadruple its battery manufacturing capacity.
The Japanese giant already operates a battery plant in Nevada and last year, confirmed that it would spend $4 billion to build a new factory in Kansas to supply Tesla. During Panasonic’s recent annual business strategy briefing with the media, Panasonic Energy chief executive Kazuo Tadanobu said that the company has several candidates in mind for the site but has not yet finalized its plans, Auto News reports.
In April, The Japan Times revealed that Oklahoma is one of the states being considered with a Panasonic official confirming that the company had concluded a contract with the Oklahoma state government stipulating the terms and subsidies Panasonic could receive if it builds a plant there. It is understood that the site will be similar in size to the one in Kansas, meaning it should have a capacity of around 30 GWh.
Read: Panasonic May Establish A New $4 Billion EV Battery Factory In Oklahoma
Panasonic is expanding its global battery production and procurement capacity to 200 gigawatt-hours through the fiscal year ending March 2031, a significant increase from the 50 GWh in the last fiscal year ending March 31. Extensive work is also being done to improve battery technology.
Tadanobu revealed that the energy density of Panasonic’s lithium-ion batteries should increase to 1,000 watts per liters in 2030, up from the 800 watts per liter in 2022. These improvements will be made to the next-generation version of its 2170 cylindrical batteries as well as the 4680 cylindrical batteries that it will produce for Tesla.
It’s not just North America where Panasonic is increasing battery production. It intends on beginning manufacturing 4680 battery cells at a factory in Wakayama, Japan between April and September next year. These batteries will be shipped to an unnamed customer in North America.