In a statement on Wednesday, Panasonic Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Hirokazu Umeda revealed that Panasonic Holdings Corp. is being asked by Tesla to speed up its development of 4680 cells. Tesla’s demand for 2170 cells also remains strong, according to the CFO.
Panasonic recently caught headlines after reports emerged that the Japanese conglomerate is looking to establish a dedicated 4680 battery production plant in the United States. The company has reportedly shortlisted Oklahoma and Kansas as potential sites for its upcoming factory.
While Umeda did not provide details about Panasonic’s upcoming facility in the United States, he did highlight that there is still a lot of demand for the 2170 cells it produces for Tesla. Panasonic’s 2170 cells are used in vehicles like the Model 3 and Model Y that are produced in the Fremont Factory.
He also hinted that Tesla is pushing Panasonic to ramp its development of 4680 cells.
“We can’t say more than what has been released, but we are getting many requests. We’re seeing continued strong demand from Tesla, for 2170 batteries, but also for faster development of the 4680,” Umeda said.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg noted that Panasonic will be manufacturing 4680 cells in its upcoming US plant. Oklahoma and Kansas have reportedly been doing their best to attract Panasonic. Financial incentive packages are reportedly being offered, especially considering the jobs that the battery plant would bring to either state.
An Oklahoma and Kansas Panasonic plant for 4680 cells would benefit the Japanese conglomerate and potentially give it an edge against fellow Tesla suppliers such as CATL and LG. A factory in either state will not be too far from Texas too. This should make it not too difficult for Panasonic to transport batteries to Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas facility.
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