Tesla battery partner Panasonic has decided to acquire a factory site in the United States for “high capacity lithium-ion batteries,” according to the Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai (NHK) or the Japan Broadcasting Corporation.
As per the NHK, a person familiar with the matter revealed that Panasonic wanted to acquire a factory site to bolster its production system for high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that will significantly extend the range of electric vehicles. Panasonic is reportedly looking at factory sites in either Oklahoma or Kansas.
Panasonic and Tesla have been partners for quite some time. Both companies operate Gigafactory Nevada outside of Reno, Nevada. Panasonic unveiled its 4680 cell prototype late last year. Kazuo Tadanobu noted that the larger cell design yields five times the capacity of smaller models.
On February 28, 2022, Panasonic announced that its Energy Company plans to establish a production facility at Wakayama Factory in western Japan. The facility would produce the 4680 lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The Japanese battery manufacturer expects to begin mass-producing the 4680 battery cell by the fiscal year ending in March 2024.
Panasonic has not published a press release about plans to build a battery production facility in the United States. Panasonic spokesperson, Yayoi Watanabe, noted that the NHK report was not based on information by the company.