Wednesday, March 22

Panasonic planning massive battery plant in US to supply Tesla -NHK

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TOKYO — 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.

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 US project.

NHK did not cite the source of its information. Panasonic said the reported plan was not something it announced.

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A long-time supplier for Tesla, Panasonic has already announced plans to begin mass-producing the new type of lithium-ion battery for Tesla before the end of March 2024 with two new production lines at its western Japanese plant in Wakayama.

The 4680 format (46 millimeters wide and 80 millimeters tall) battery is about five times bigger than those currently supplied to Tesla, meaning the US electric vehicle (EV) maker will be able to lower production costs.

The new powerpack is also expected to improve vehicle range.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman)