KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas officials and Panasonic executives gathered Wednesday morning in De Soto, Kansas, for the groundbreaking of the new Panasonic battery plant, which will produce cylindrical Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
During the groundbreaking, renderings of the facility were released to show what the potential facility will look like.
Panasonic and Kansas officials expressed excitement for the new facility.
"This project will be transformative for De Soto, the region and the entire state of Kansas," Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said during the groundbreaking. "It will make Kansas a global leader in electrical battery production and it will bring thousands of jobs to our state."
Panasonic Energy President and CEO Kazuo Tadanobu said the groundbreaking is an "important step" in Panasonic's production capacity expansion in North America amid growing demand for lithium-ion batteries.
“With our leading technology, proven expertise, and the state of Kansas as a critical partner, we will continue driving the industry forward while pursuing a more prosperous and sustainable future for our society,” Tadanobu said.
In addition to the cylindrical Li-ion batteries, the plant will also mass produce Panasonic's 2170 EV batteries, which the corporation says is in very high demand.
The new facility, which is expected to cost around $4 billion, could bring in a projected $2.5 billion in yearly economic activity to the state of Kansas.
In addition, the state projects the project could create a total of 20,000 jobs, with 4,000 planned jobs, 16,500 construction jobs and a potential additional 4,000 jobs from suppliers and community business.
The state was awarded the plant in July, beating Oklahoma for the plant after the state offered the Japanese-based company over $820 million incentives package, including a five-year $500 million investment tax credit and a 10-year $234 million payroll rebate.
Panasonic Energy says it plans to begin mass production in Kansas by March 2025.