Tesla battery supplier Panasonic is looking for a new factory in the US

Tesla’s primary battery cell supplier, Panasonic, is once again looking to build a new factory in the US after recently announcing a new one.

When Tesla initially sought a battery supplier in the early 2000s, no one wanted to sell the company Li-ion battery cells to put in an electric vehicle. At that time, Li-ion batteries were primarily used in consumer electronics, and battery manufacturers didn’t like the risk/reward of putting them in cars.

Panasonic gave Tesla a shot, and it was arguably the best decision it ever made, as batteries became Panasonic’s greatest growth contributor, thanks to Tesla’s success.

Growing that partnership, the Japanese manufacturing company built a massive battery factory with Tesla in Nevada. Last year, Panasonic announced plans for an additional battery cell factory, in Kansas, to supply Tesla with more battery cells.

Now, Nikkei reports that Panasonic is already looking to establish another battery factory in the US:

Panasonic Holdings is considering Oklahoma and two other U.S. states for a major investment as it plans to boost production of electric vehicle batteries in the country.

It’s not clear if this factory would be intended to supply Tesla. The electric automaker is still Panasonic’s biggest customer by far, and Tesla said it would buy all the viable battery cells it can get its hands on.

Oklahoma was reportedly in the running for the factory announced by Panasonic last year, but Kansas won the company over.

Oklahoma is reportedly back in the running, but the publication reports that Panasonic could decide to build facilities in Kansas or Nevada again. The report also claims that the Japanese manufacturer is open to battery investments in Canada and Mexico.

Electrek’s Take

Even though we have been flooded with a wave of battery manufacturing announcements in the last two years, I’m not surprised to see more coming, even from Panasonic, who recently announced a new factory in the US.

Lately, I’ve even heard things about Panasonic looking to build a factory in Quebec.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the company makes an announcement soon, considering battery factories are money-printing machines right now.

If you know anything about this project, you can reach out to me at fred@electrek.co