As transportation and delivery fleets continue making orders for electric trucks, Panasonic Energy announced Wednesday plans to build a $4 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery facility in the Kansas City region.
As the largest economic development project in Kansas state history, the plant is designed to create up to 4,000 new jobs. The facility in De Soto, Kansas—a small town just west of Kansas City—will supply lithium-ion batteries and expand on Panasonic Energy’s current U.S. battery manufacturing operation of more than six billion EV battery cells produced to date.
The plant will be the latest addition to the state’s existing core of seven battery manufacturing sites employing some 1,300 workers and ranking Kansas as second in the nation for employment and wage concentration in the sector in 2021. According to Panasonic, the announcement comes at a time when the sector is predicted to grow at an annualized rate of 2.4%.
"With the increased electrification of the automotive market, expanding battery production in the U.S. is critical to help meet demand," Kazuo Tadanobu, president and CEO of Panasonic Energy, said in a release. "Given our leading technology and depth of experience, we aim to continue driving growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and accelerating towards a net-zero emissions future.”
That growth rate includes several recent announcements by U.S. logistics providers to add to their fleets of electric vehicles, including Walmart’s contract earlier this week to purchase 4,500 all-electric delivery vehicles from automaker Canoo.
Panasonic Energy and Kansas Partner to Advance Plan for US-based EV Battery Facilityhttps://t.co/UrHZP7So4m— Panasonic (@panasonic) July 14, 2022