Panasonic Reportedly Eyeing Tesla Battery Factory in Oklahoma or Kansas, Claims Report

Tesla battery supplier is rumoured to be seeking a land purchase in the United States for a mega factory to build electric vehicle batteries for Tesla, according to NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster on Friday (via Reuters).

According to NHK, people familiar with the matter inform the publication Panasonic wants to build a factory worth billions of dollars near Tesla’s Gigafactory in Texas, and proposed locations are said to be in Oklahoma or Kansas.

Panasonic said the NHK report was not something it has announced.

The story cites competitive markets in the EV battery space, specifically from companies in China and South Korea, so Panasonic collaborating with Tesla looks to allow it to gain marketshare.

The Japanese company previously announced it would start production of Tesla’s new 4680 battery cells, by March 2024, with new production lines pegged for its Wakayama plant in Japan.

Tesla’s first Model Y vehicles produced from Giga Texas will include the newest 4680 structural battery packs, with cells five times larger than the current 2170 cells used by the automaker.

The new tabless cell within the 4680 battery will allow for increased manufacturing speed, plus an increased range of 16% and power by six-fold, and energy by five-fold, eventually halving the cost per kWh for EV batteries.