Kansas lands Panasonic Energy for $4B electric vehicle battery megaproject

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd. plans to build a state-of-the-art electric vehicle (EV) battery facility in the Kansas City Region.

The largest economic development project in state history, the Kansas Department of Commerce , the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) and its partners shared that the company’s plans could create up to 4,000 new jobs and result in an investment of approximately $4 billion.

Projected to be one of the largest EV battery manufacturing facilities of its kind in the U.S., the company has identified a site in De Soto, Kansas, for this potential project, pending approval by Panasonic Holdings Corporation Board of Directors.

With the increased electrification of the automotive market, expanding
battery production in the U.S. is critical to help meet demand,” said Kazuo Tadanobu, President, CEO of 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.

This planned state-of-the-art facility will create and supply lithium-ion batteries and accelerate the future of electric vehicle innovation on a global scale. Panasonic Energy’s current U.S. battery manufacturing operation has shipped more than six billion EV battery cells. Panasonic Energy plans to expand its production of EV batteries as the automotive industry shifts to more sustainable electric technologies. The proposed development would boost the regional economy, creating opportunities for suppliers and community businesses.

As the largest private investment in Kansas history and one of the largest EV battery manufacturing plants of its kind in the country, this project will be transformative for our state’s economy, providing in total 8,000 high-quality jobs that will help more Kansans create better lives for themselves and their children,” said Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. “Winning this project has shown that Kansas has what it takes to compete on a global scale — and that our pro-business climate is driving the technological innovation needed to achieve a more prosperous and sustainable future.

Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland noted competition for this milestone project was strong and required a coordinated effort from the state. A key component of that undertaking was the enactment of the bipartisan Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion (APEX) Act earlier this year.

Once Governor Kelly signed APEX into law,” Toland said, “the state gained the necessary economic development tool to pursue megaprojects that could transform the Kansas economy. Panasonic recognized Kansas as not just a contender, but as the ideal partner for this revolutionary project.

Panasonic Energy selected Kansas due to its business-friendly climate, robust talent pool and workforce skillset, support for technology innovation, strong transportation infrastructure, and central location. This builds on Kansas City’s legacy manufacturing and automotive industry strengths.

“With this major development, Kansas is being recognized around the world for our talented workforce, innovative environment and quality of life,” said U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (Kan.). “Panasonic will bring thousands of good-paying, high-quality jobs to our state which will be a massive economic benefit for local businesses and our communities for decades to come. With the goal of making Kansas a destination for industry, defense, education, science, technology, engineering and innovation, we will keep our students, their knowledge and intellect in Kansas.

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