Oklahoma reportedly wants to incentivize a new massive Panasonic EV battery plant.
Panasonic Holdings Corp., one of Tesla’s major suppliers of electric-vehicle batteries, is considering building a $4 billion plant in Oklahoma, in addition to another Kansas plant it announced in July and a Nevada facility it announced in December.
“People with knowledge of Panasonic’s plans described the two plants as twins with similar capacity,” says The Wall Street Journal.
The plant is still in deliberation and may not go into construction. Oklahoma’s Governor declined to comment on the report. Panasonic declined to share further information too.
Why it’s important
The plant construction would be a major step forward for domestic EV auto production, especially as major manufacturers are making progress in slowly converting away from gas power before 2035.
“The Japanese manufacturer is seeking to ramp up production capacity to meet growing demand from Tesla and other electric vehicle makers as consumers start to embrace cleaner cars in a meaningful way. EV cell production is a business the 104-year-old electronics giant sees as critical for its future growth,” says Bloomberg.
Operating two nearly identical battery plants in Kansas and Oklahoma places Panasonic within close proximity to Tesla’s EV factory in Austin, Texas. Both states have apparently been attempting to pull together financial incentive packages to attract Panasonic to their states. Oklahoma’s state Senate offered $698 million in rebates and incentives in April to an unnamed manufacturing company, with the expectation it would create over 4,000 jobs.
Backing up a bit
Panasonic Energy of North America previously announced a new campus in Reno, Nevada in December, near Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 site, to help address demands from Tesla for a greater demand in batteries. Tesla has been pushing Panasonic to speed up the production of their next generation of EV batteries, according to Bloomberg.
“Our new facility in Reno underscores our commitment to evolving and growing to stay at the forefront of the mobility market. Investing in innovation and workforce initiatives in the local community supports our mission of creating a future powered by sustainable energy,” says Panasonic president Allan Swan.