TOPEKA, KS—Panasonic Energy Co. plans to build a $4 billion lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant at a potential site in De Soto, KS. The facility would be located on the site of the former Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant, which was built during World War II.

"With the increased electrification of the automotive market, expanding battery production in the U.S. is critical to help meet demand," says Kazuo Tadanobu, president and CEO of Panasonic Energy Co. "Given our leading technology and depth of experience, we aim to continue driving growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and accelerating toward a net-zero emissions future."

The announcement comes five years after Panasonic Group began mass-producing lithium-ion batteries at Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA) in Sparks, NV. PENA, a key supplier to Tesla, is now one of the world's largest battery factories, surpassing 6 billion EV battery cells shipped. While PENA's operations will continue, Tadanobu says the new facility in Kansas is intended to further support Panasonic’s long-term commitment to advancing the EV industry in the United States.