Panasonic Holdings Corp, a Japanese company known for its battery manufacturing, has announced its plans to expand battery production for electric vehicles (EVs) in North America. The company intends to construct at least two new factories dedicated to the production of next-generation 4680 batteries by the year 2030. These batteries are in high demand as they are used in electric cars, including those manufactured by Tesla Inc.
With an aim to enhance its automotive battery capacity, Panasonic plans to increase production to 200 gigawatt hours annually by March 2031. This would mark a fourfold increase from its capacity at the end of March. The company shared these plans through a presentation on its official website. A spokesperson for Panasonic confirmed the company’s intention to establish the new factories in North America.
Regarding the specific locations for the new facilities, Panasonic’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Yuki Kusumi, stated that the company has not yet finalized the decision. Possibilities include Nevada, Kansas, or other potential sites. Kusumi made this statement during a press conference following the presentation on Panasonic’s strategic plans.
In addition to its North American expansion, Panasonic is collaborating with Marubeni Corp, a trading house, to develop a delivery network in Japan. The network will utilize small electric vans, as reported by the Nikkei newspaper. The companies are expected to establish a joint venture around June, which will handle various tasks such as installing charging units and managing vehicle batteries. The plan involves deploying hundreds of electric commercial vans within a span of two years. Both Panasonic and Marubeni refrained from commenting on the newspaper’s report.
Panasonic has already initiated a pilot production line for the 4680 batteries at its Wakayama factory in Japan. Meanwhile, Tesla is already manufacturing these batteries, which Tesla CEO Elon Musk has emphasized as pivotal for the production of more affordable and compelling electric cars. Furthermore, Panasonic has plans to establish two additional sites in Japan to further strengthen its battery expertise. One site will be a production technology facility in Osaka city, set to be established in 2024. The other site, located in neighboring Kadoma city, is designated for the development of new and next-generation batteries and is scheduled to be set up in 2025.
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