Panasonic strikes OK off list of potential battery plant sites

(Credit: Panasonic)

Panasonic announced that Oklahoma is no longer on its list of potential battery plant sites. 

Earlier this year, the Japanese battery supplier entered into an agreement with the State of Oklahoma regarding a potential cell production facility. The agreement gave Panasonic access to about $700 million in capital investment, outlining the potential eligibility and terms for incentives. 

“After careful deliberations, we have made the decision not to move forward with developing the site,” Panasonic recently stated in a public statement. 

“Decisions about where to position new facilities are extraordinarily complex and are based on a wide range of factors. We are grateful for the conversations we had with officials from across the political spectrum to discuss the potential for Oklahoma to play a role in Panasonic Energy’s growing footprint across North America. This decision will not impact our operations in Nevada or Kansas; we have made a long-term commitment to investing in and advancing the EV industry in the United States, and we remain focused on delivering the highest quality batteries for our customers,” the company added.

In October, Panasonic Energy announced plans to slash its electric battery production in Japan by 60%. The company reported a record net profit of 288 billion yen ($1.9 billion) between January and September 2023. Subsidies from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the United States significantly contributed to Panasonic’s record net profit. 

Panasonic Group’s CFO Hirokazu Umeda commented that production in Japan would “not grow as well as at the American factories.” The United States has taken steps to encourage companies in the EV supply chain to invest in North America and nations with U.S. free trade agreements. One of the country’s most significant moves was passing the IRA. 

Panasonic already benefits from the IRA, partly thanks to its joint battery facility with Tesla in Nevada. The Japanese battery supplier is also establishing a lithium-ion battery factory in De Soto, Kansas.

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Panasonic strikes OK off list of potential battery plant sites
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