In addition to its plans for a $4 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Kansas, the company is now eyeing Oklahoma for a second location.
Panasonic, which supplies its electric vehicle (EV) batteries to companies like Tesla, has announced plans for another $4 billion plant, to be located in Oklahoma, sources close to the Wall Street Journal report. . The plant joins a Kansas City-area facility announced last month.
The Kansas plant is expected to create up to 4,000 US manufacturing jobs, and this location would effectively double the total. When completed, the Kansas factory would be the largest economic development in the state’s history and would be larger than the Nevada gigafactory that Panasonic currently operates with Tesla.
The two new plants, representing an investment of $8 billion, will be built to meet the surge in demand for electric vehicles in the United States. Automakers and suppliers have publicly announced more than $38 billion in investment through 2026 to boost U.S. battery production Alix Partners.
The factories are expected to produce Panasonic’s 4680 lithium-ion cells, the properties and exact chemistry of which have yet to be revealed. Elon Musk described the Panasonic product as “the most advanced cell in the world”.
“With the increasing electrification of the automotive market, expanding battery production in the United States is essential to meet demand,” said Kazuo Tadanobu, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Energy. “Given our cutting-edge technology and deep experience, we aim to continue to drive the growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and accelerate towards a zero-net emissions future.”
Demand is expected to be boosted by recent legislation at the state and federal levels. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) contains a consumption tax credit of $4,000 for low- and middle-income earners for the purchase of clean used vehicles, and up to $7,500 $ for new clean vehicles, which includes electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
The IRA also offers incentives on the production side, with $40 billion in tax credits dedicated to domestic production of electric vehicles. The incentives are part of an effort to outsource and shorten supply chains, reducing reliance on foreign countries to fuel America’s energy transition.
Electric vehicles will also be boosted by California’s recent decision to ban all new gas-powered car sales by 2035. Under the law, Californians can continue to drive gas-powered vehicles and buy used ones. after 2035. The plan also calls for 20% of sales after 2035 to be plug-in hybrids that can run on batteries and gasoline.
The new law is expected to stimulate demand for infrastructure to support an electric transport sector, including charging stations for solar and electric vehicles. Currently, there are about 80,000 charging stations in California, well below the goal of 250,000 by 2025.
Other state legislatures, including Washington, New York and Massachusetts, have publicly stated that passage of California’s combustion engine ban opens the door for similar laws to be enacted soon in their respective states.
“The climate crisis can be solved if we focus on the big and bold action needed to stem the tide of carbon pollution,” Governor Gavin Newsom said.
More than one billion customers use Panasonic products every day, generating 86 million tonnes of CO2 emissions based on electricity consumption figures. This represents approximately 110 million tonnes of CO2 emissions across our entire value chain, a number that equates to approximately 1% of total emissions from global electricity consumption. The company has launched an initiative to become net zero in its business operations by 2030 and sets other goals for its sustainability by 2050.
LG Energy Solutions and Honda also announced an agreement to form a joint venture to produce lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles in the United States. Under the terms of the agreement, the two will invest $4.4 billion to build and operate a plant with an annual production capacity of 40 GWh. Construction is scheduled for early 2023, with plans to begin mass production of pocket-based battery cells by the end of 2025.
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