Panasonic in talks for $4 billion US battery plant

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01 November 2018, Japan, Fukuoka: Logo of the Japanese electronics company Panasonic on a factory building in Fukuoka. Here in Fukuoka, the Group manufactures surveillance cameras and smaller electronic devices, among other things. Photo: Christoph Dernbach/dpa (Photo by Christoph Dernbach/picture alliance via Getty Images)
01 November 2018, Japan, Fukuoka: Logo of the Japanese electronics company Panasonic on a factory building in Fukuoka. Here in Fukuoka, the Group manufactures surveillance cameras and smaller electronic devices, among other things. Photo: Christoph Dernbach/dpa (Photo by Christoph Dernbach/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Panasonic, which supplies electric car batteries to Tesla, is in talks to build another battery plant in the US worth around $4 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter that it didn’t identify.

Oklahoma is a likely location for the new plant, although there are no guarantees an agreement will be reached, according to the report. Any new facility would be on top of another $4 billion EV battery factory that Panasonic said in July it plans to build in Kansas.

A spokeswoman for Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt declined to comment to the WSJ. 

A representative for Panasonic said the company is “examining various growth strategies for our automotive battery business, but there is no further information that we can share at the moment aside from what we have already announced.”

The Japanese manufacturer is seeking to ramp up production capacity to meet growing demand from Tesla and other electric vehicle makers as consumers start to embrace cleaner cars in a meaningful way. EV cell production is a business the 104-year-old electronics giant sees as critical for its future growth.

Though Panasonic has supplied Tesla from its early days, it’s been slower to build scale versus rivals LG Energy Solution Co. of South Korea and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., which is the world’s largest maker of EV batteries.Korean battery makers also have a slew of plans for battery plants in the US, constructing four for General Motors Co., two for Stellantis NV and three for Ford Motor Co.


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