Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., plans to build a state-of-the-art electric vehicle battery facility in the Kansas City Region.
The largest economic development project in state history, the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Kansas City Area Development Council and its partners shared that the company’s plans could create up to 4,000 new jobs and result in an investment of about $4 billion.
Projected to be one of the largest EV battery manufacturing facilities of its kind in the U.S., the company has identified a site in De Soto, Kansas, for this potential project, pending approval by Panasonic Holdings Corporation Board of Directors.
This planned facility will create and supply lithium-ion batteries and accelerate the future of electric vehicle innovation on a global scale. Panasonic Energy’s current U.S. battery manufacturing operation has shipped more than 6 billion EV battery cells. Panasonic Energy plans to expand its production of EV batteries as the automotive industry shifts to more sustainable electric technologies. The proposed development would boost the regional economy, creating opportunities for suppliers and community businesses.
Kansas Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland noted that competition for this milestone project was strong and required a coordinated effort from the state. A key component of that undertaking was the enactment of the bipartisan Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion Act earlier this year.
Panasonic Energy selected Kansas because of its business-friendly climate, robust talent pool and workforce skillset, support for technology innovation, strong transportation infrastructure, and central location. This builds on Kansas City’s legacy manufacturing and automotive industry strengths.
Kansas has an established battery manufacturing sector with seven establishments employing about 1,300 individuals. The state ranked second in the nation for employment and wage concentration in the sector in 2021. With the opportunity to potentially add an additional 4,000 jobs, this deal will make Kansas an industry leader at a time when the sector is predicted to grow at an annualized rate of 2.4%.
The Kansas City region is the third fastest-growing tech market in the U.S., and is a nucleus of engineering, technology and automotive manufacturing expertise. With a strong talent pipeline and cutting-edge training programs, the Kansas City market employs nearly 21,000 workers who contribute to the $19 billion KC transportation manufacturing industry.
The following organizations supported the recruitment of Panasonic Energy to Kansas: Kansas Department of Commerce; Kansas Department of Transportation; Kansas Department of Health and Environment; Kansas Department of Children and Families; the Honorable Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan; the U.S. Embassy to Tokyo; Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund; City of De Soto; De Soto Economic Development Council; Evergy; Sunflower Development Group; KC SmartPort; Johnson County Community College; Kansas City, Kansas Community College; Peaslee Tech; University of Kansas; Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; and Kansas City Area Development Council.