Panasonic Corp. plans to build a U.S. factory to supply Tesla Inc. with lithium-ion batteries, NHK has reported, seeking to ramp up production to meet anticipated demand for electric vehicles.
The Japanese electronics conglomerate is looking at sites in Oklahoma and Kansas to build the plant, the public broadcaster reported, citing an unidentified source. Tesla is bringing a new factory online in nearby Texas, where it recently established a new headquarters in Austin.
Panasonic has a longstanding relationship with Tesla, with the two companies jointly operating the massive battery plant known as the Gigafactory outside of Reno, Nevada. The batteries to be built in any new U.S. factory will probably be 4680 cells, a new type with a 46-millimeter diameter and 80-millimeter height. Because of their higher capacity, fewer are needed for EVs, making it possible to build cars more cheaply with a longer range.