Li-ion power batteries are obviously the most critical category of component for electric vehicles. As the market for electric vehicles continues to expand rapidly, the demand for Li-ion power batteries also surges. Hence, the major battery suppliers are increasing their investments and building new factories to build up production capacity. On April 16, Panasonic announced that it is considering setting up its third power battery plant in the US so as to meet the growing demand from electric vehicles.
In a press statement, Panasonic disclosed that it has reached an understanding with the government of the US state of Oklahoma for its third battery plant in this country. Specifically, Panasonic will be eligible for a government subsidy and other forms of government support. However, the company also said it has yet to make a final decision on the exact location of the new plant. It will share the relevant information to the public when possible.
Earlier, various news media outlets already reported that Panasonic has been planning to set up a battery plant in Oklahoma. With the recent surge in the demand for electric vehicles, the Japanese conglomerate has been communicating with other carmakers in addition to its longtime customer Tesla. Ultimately, Panasonic aims to become the supply partner of a large number of automotive brands and vehicle manufacturers.
Panasonic has now established two battery plants in the US and dubbed them “Gigafactories”. Gigafactory 1 is located in the city of Sparks that is near Reno, Nevada. This plant is a joint venture of Panasonic and Tesla. Due to a labor shortage and repeated schedule delays, Gigafactory 1 ramped up slowly and was not able to turn a profit until March 2021.
Then, on October 31, 2022, Panasonic announced that its subsidiary Panasonic Energy had officially committed to building a new battery plant in the US state of Kansas. The construction of the plant began in November of that year, and the plant is expected to enter the mass production phase in 2024. This plant will be Panasonic’s second Gigafactory in the US. Panasonic Energy is responsible for the conglomerate’s battery business.
When Panasonic was selecting the site of Gigafactory 2, it reportedly rejected the bid from Oklahoma. However, Oklahoma now appears to be an even more suitable candidate than before. According to the government of Oklahoma, if Panasonic does choose the state for Gigafactory 3, the investment of this project could reach US$4 billion and lead to the creation of 4,000 new jobs.
Also, in April of this year, news media reported that Panasonic was in talks with Stellantis and BMW about building a new plant for manufacturing electric vehicles. As for the site of Gigafactory 3, it is expected to be announced before June.
This article is a translation of a Chinese article posted by TrendForce. It contains information that is either sourced from other news outlets or accessible in the public domain. Some Chinese names are transcribed into English using Hanyu Pinyin.