As quoted from Bloomberg, Thursday (12/5/2022), Panasonic Holdings Corp. has prepared the construction of a new factory in the United States (US). The news was revealed by CFO of Panasonic Hirokazu Umeda.
This Panasonic investment will also increase the production of the model 2170 cell battery which has been used in Tesla products. The plan, Panasonic will set up new battery factories in Oklahoma and Kansas with a value of billions of dollars.
The newly-planned plant is part of a push to increase investment in EV cell production — a segment the 104-year-old Japanese electronics giant deems essential for future growth.
“We can’t say much more than what has been released, but we are getting a lot of requests. We see continued strong demand from Tesla, for the 2170 battery, but also for the development of the faster 4680,” explained Umeda.
From information obtained by Bloomberg, Panasonic is developing the 4680, which is bigger and more powerful. The move is part of Tesla’s desire to bring in a $25,000 electric vehicle that Elon Musk has touted about.
On the other hand, Oklahoma and Kansas have used incentive packages from the government to attract Panasonic investment. On the other hand, the Japanese battery manufacturer, choosing any location will be advantageous because it is close to the new factory that Tesla has just opened in Texas.
Yuki Kusumi, CEO of Panasonic, said in April that the manufacturer would invest 600 billion yen (US$4.6 billion) in automotive batteries, supply chain software and other areas the company sees as the core of its growth.
The 4680 battery is Tesla’s design to pursue cost efficiency while increasing battery capacity. The battery is claimed to be able to store five times more energy than the previous model, plus it costs 50 percent less.
The problem is, the development of the 4680 battery is in dire need of high-quality nickel by eroding the use of cobalt. Battery 4680 is a type of cathode battery.