There is a rumor that Panasonic will build a big new battery factory in the United States

Japanese press briefing NHK reports that Panasonic is looking for land in Oklahoma or Kansas to build a massive new battery factory in the US that will manufacture 4,680 battery cells for Tesla (and possibly others?) Reuters, the plant will cost several billion dollars to build. The company declined to confirm or deny NHK relationship with Reuters.

At present, Panasonic plans to start mass production of the new type of lithium-ion battery, with a diameter of 46mm and a height of 80mm, for Tesla by March 2024 on two new lines. production at its western Japan plant in Wakayama. . The 4680 cells are approximately 5 times larger than the battery cells Tesla currently uses to power its electric vehicles. They are expected to reduce battery costs and increase the range of the vehicles they power.

Panasonic was the first battery manufacturer to work with Tesla when it agreed to manufacture battery cells at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. This relationship has had its ups and downs over the years, and Tesla has forged alliances with other battery makers such as CATL and BYD as it seeks the best combination of performance and price. There are rumors that it will start using BYD-made blade LFP battery in future models. Last year, sources said Reuters that LG Energy Solutions also plans to manufacture 4680 battery cells.

With Panasonic declining to comment on the reports, we can only assume the search for a manufacturing site is ongoing. It will take around two years to build a factory and start production, so the likely timeline is that a new US factory for Panasonic won’t supply battery cells to Tesla or anyone much earlier than 2025.

For those praying for the electric vehicle revolution to go faster, waiting for battery supply to catch up with demand is maddening, but laying the groundwork now will pay dividends in the future. Patience, young grasshopper.


 

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