© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man is reflected on the Panasonic logo at the Panasonic Center in Tokyo, Japan, February 2, 2017. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon / File Photo
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Panasonic (OTC 🙂 Holdings Corp, which makes batteries for electric car maker Tesla (NASDAQ :), is finalizing a decision on which US state it will choose as the site for a new battery factory, a top executive said in Friday.
“We have made various considerations, but we are beginning to conclude,” said Panasonic Energy CEO Kazuo Tadanobu, speaking to reporters during a roundtable event. No decision has been made yet, he added.
The Japanese conglomerate is looking at potential factories in Kansas and Oklahoma to supply the batteries to the American electric car manufacturer’s factory in Texas, two people with knowledge of the plan have said.
Tadanobu told investors and analysts on Wednesday that it had sent samples of its more powerful ‘4680’ format electric car battery to Tesla.
The 4680-format battery – 46 millimeters in width and 80 millimeters in height – is about five times larger than those currently supplied by Panasonic, meaning the U.S. electric carmaker could be able to lower production costs and increase vehicle range.
Panasonic said mass production of the new battery should begin by the end of March 2024 at the factory in Wakayama, western Japan, before production moves to North America.
Panasonic is looking at potential factories in Kansas and Oklahoma to supply the batteries to the American electric car manufacturer’s factory in Texas, two people with knowledge of the plan have said.
The Japanese company has partnered with Tesla for more than a decade and has supplied batteries for its first cars.
Since then, the electric car manufacturer has diversified its supply chain and acquired other companies such as China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) and South Korea’s LG Energy Solution.