Tesla Battery Supplier Panasonic Looks To Boost Production In North America To Meet Growing Demand

Japan’s Panasonic Holdings Corp PCRFY said on Wednesday it is looking to boost production capacity in North America to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.

What Happened: Panasonic Energy, a subsidiary of the Osaka-based conglomerate, said it will improve productivity for its 2170-type cells and begin commercial production of the 4680-type cells starting next year.

"The initial focus is on the North American market, in which we are able to leverage our high capacity and have a strong business foundation," Kazuo Tadanobu, CEO of the Panasonic's energy business said at the company's annual investor event.

The battery supplier said it will supply the 4680 cells to strategic partners ahead of rivals. The company has reportedly shipped the more powerful cells to key supplier Tesla Inc TSLA for testing purposes.

Panasonic Energy will make and sell the “high-capacity 4680 cells” at the Wakayama factory in Japan and supply them to the North American market from fiscal 2024 before it moves production to North America.

See Also: Tesla Supplier Panasonic Said To Be Planning Giant US Plant To Produce New Type Of Batteries For EV Maker

Made In US: The battery supplier has been looking for land in Oklahoma or Kansas and aims to pump in several billion dollars to mass-produce new high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. Panasonic’s Nevada factory currently supplies smaller batteries to Tesla.

Tesla revealed the 4680-type battery last year at its Battery Day event in September 2020 and has claimed the pack will allow it to increase capacity and range by 30% without new chemistry.

Panasonic, an early investor in Tesla, last year shed all of its stake worth about $730 million it held in the electric vehicle maker at a huge profit.

It continues to count Tesla among key clients even as it inks new deals with other EV makers.

Price Action: Tesla closed 2.36% lower at $740.4 on Wednesday.

See Also: Why Lucid CEO Sees Tesla 4680 Batteries Being A 'Huge Breakthrough' As Just A 'Fantasy'

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