New lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in De Soto, Kansas to add critical capacity to the domestic EV battery supply chain
De Soto, Kan. – Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., a Panasonic Group company, began construction on a new lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in De Soto, KS, following the approval by Panasonic Holdings Corporation Board of Directors. The project will drive significant economic activity and opportunities for the local Kansas economy making the state a key player in the domestic electric vehicle (EV) industry.
Facility construction is focused on rapidly ramping up manufacture of “2170” cylindrical Li-ion batteries to meet surging domestic EV battery demand. Panasonic Energy plans to begin mass production in Kansas by March 2025. Upon completion of the facility, it will maintain annual total production capacity of approximately 30 GWh to supply EV manufacturers across the United States.
“This groundbreaking in Kansas is an important step towards expanding our production capacity in North America to meet the rapidly growing demand for lithium-ion batteries,” said Kazuo Tadanobu, President, CEO of Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd. “With our leading technology, proven expertise, and the state of Kansas as a critical partner, we will continue driving the industry forward while pursuing a more prosperous and sustainable future for our society.”
The facility will be located at the Astra Enterprise Park site and will once again make the location a key economic driver for the region. Two contractors from the local Kansas City area, Emery Sapp & Sons Inc., and Kissick Construction Co. Inc., have been awarded contracts for site preparation, with Panasonic Energy expecting to onboard additional firms in the coming months.
“The Kansas City region, just as it has over the past century, is cementing its rightful place as a leader where transit innovation is occurring,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. “We are incredibly proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Panasonic as they revolutionize the global transportation industry from the center of the most dynamic economy in the world.”
Kansas’s skilled manufacturing workforce, reliable infrastructure, and central location in North America makes it an ideal location for this facility. The facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs. Recruitment for the first positions is expected to begin mid-2023 and individuals interested in applying can visit https://na.panasonic.com/us/panasonic-energy.
“Panasonic deeply values the strong relationships we build with the local communities where we live and work,” said Megan Myungwon Lee, Chairwoman and CEO, Panasonic Corporation of North America. “This factory will open new career opportunities for De Soto residents in one of the most exciting industries in our modern economy. We hope it will also serve as a source of inspiration for the community’s young people, who will become the innovators creating a more vibrant and sustainable future, and we are committed to helping them achieve their goals.”
Panasonic has a long track record of supporting the communities where it operates, including investing in local education, talent development, mentorship, volunteerism and environmental initiatives. As a first step in the company’s new commitment to Kansas and the De Soto community, Panasonic is making a $25,000 donation to Unified School District No. 232 to support educational opportunities for students.
“The City of De Soto is thrilled to work with Panasonic and welcome them to our amazing community,” said Mayor Rick Walker. “De Soto has a rich history of supporting critical manufacturing facilities and we have been planning for this growth and the return of advanced manufacturing jobs to this area for years. We’re especially excited for the opportunity to invest in the renewable energy industry and provide strong jobs for generations to come.”
Panasonic Energy is a global leader in lithium-ion batteries, with a nearly 100-year history of innovation in batteries spanning both battery cell technology and battery business operations. The company continues to strengthen its lineup of automotive lithium-ion batteries and expand its production capacity, currently developing the new “4680” high-capacity lithium-ion battery in Japan. Panasonic Energy’s facility in Sparks, Nevada, is now one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery factories, surpassing six billion EV battery cells shipped. The expansion in Kansas builds on its proven success as the North American market leader in EV lithium-ion batteries and long-term commitment to advancing the EV industry in the United States.
“Expanding production capacity in Kansas will enable us to continue delivering the highest quality batteries for our automotive partners as demand grows,” said Kris Takamoto, Executive Vice President of Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., Head of EV Battery Business. “We are already producing more than five million battery cells a day in North America, and the new facility in Kansas will further grow our capacity, efficiency and economies of scale which are critical to a net-zero emissions future.”
The new battery manufacturing facility will also support the company’s commitment to contribute to society by reducing global carbon emissions. The factory is a demonstration of Panasonic’s Green IMPACT initiative, which is aimed at reducing the company’s own CO2 emission to virtually net-zero by 2030 and contributing to 300 million tons in avoided emissions by 2050.