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Panasonic announces to build $4 bn EV battery plant in US

Tokyo, July 14 (IANS) Japanese conglomerate Panasonic Energy on Thursday announced to invest approximately $4 billion on an electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in the US that will generate up to 4,000 jobs.

Panasonic Energy tied up with the city of Kansas for a proposed US-based lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility, expected to be larger than the Gigafactory it operates with Tesla in Sparks, Nevada.

“This project will be transformative for the Kansas economy, providing high-quality, high-tech jobs while bringing a new industry to the state that is forging a more sustainable future,” said Governor Laura Kelly.

Panasonic said its advanced battery technology will improve EV range and lower the cost to produce EVs.

“With the increased electrification of the automotive market, expanding battery production in the US is critical to help meet demand,” said Kazuo Tadanobu, President and CEO at Panasonic Energy.

“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,” he added.

Panasonic Energy is a global leader in lithium-ion batteries, with a 100-year history of innovation in batteries spanning both battery cell technology and battery business operations.

The company plans to expand its production of EV batteries, as the automotive industry shifts to more sustainable electric technologies.

The latest announcement comes five years after Panasonic Group began production of lithium-ion batteries at Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA) in Sparks, Nevada.

PENA is now one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery factories, surpassing six billion EV battery cells shipped.

While operations in Nevada will continue, the new facility in Kansas is intended to further support Panasonic’s long-term commitment to advancing the EV industry in the US.

In May, South Korean battery maker Samsung SDI said it is investing $1.29 billion in an electric vehicle battery plant to be built in the Indiana state in the US under a joint venture with Stellantis NV.

Samsung SDI will own a 51 per cent stake in the $2.5 billion joint venture company set up with the Chrysler parent, and its investment could increase to as much as $1.57 billion in the long term, it said in a regulatory filing.

The plant will supply lithium-ion battery cells and modules for electric vehicles produced at Stellantis’ assembly lines in North America.

–IANS

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