In a recent announcement, Panasonic Holdings Corp. PCRFY revealed plans to launch an upgraded version of its electric vehicle (EV) battery cells with increased capacity. The new cells are expected to be produced at the company’s Nevada plant between 2024 and 2025.
What Happened: The new 2170 cells, an improved version of the existing ones, will be manufactured in Nevada, said CTO Shoichiro Watanabe in an interview with Bloomberg. This development aligns with Panasonic’s goal to quadruple its production capacity by the 2030 fiscal year.
Watanabe assured that the company’s expansion plans do not hinge on constructing a new factory or heavy investments. The Osaka-based firm is focused on enhancing the energy density of the 2170 cell, which could potentially reduce the overall cost of EVs.
He said, “We will expand battery capacity and improve productivity at the same time.”
Panasonic’s expansion plans are centered on North America to provide 200 gigawatt hours of energy in EV batteries. The company is also working on a thicker and more voluminous battery, the 4680 cells.
The company is on track to increase its manufacturing capacity by 10% by the 2025 fiscal year without the need for additional production lines or investment. Decisions regarding the production of next-generation EV batteries at the Nevada plant, a joint venture with Tesla Inc. TSLA, will be made jointly, Watanabe noted.
Panasonic is also building a new battery plant in Kansas, its second in North America, and is set to reveal the location of a third plant by the end of the current fiscal year.
Why It Matters: This announcement follows Panasonic’s recent decision to pursue its expansion plans in the U.S., aiming to establish a third EV battery plant. This move is part of the company’s larger strategy to significantly boost its annual production capacity from the current 50 gigawatt-hours to 200 gigawatt-hours by 2031.
Earlier in December, Panasonic had decided to cancel a potential project in Oklahoma. However, the company added that the closure will not impact their operations in Nevada or Kansas
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