Panasonic has opened a new automotive lithium-ion battery factory in Dalian, China, specifically geared for eco-friendly vehicle applications, which includes plug-ins (New Energy Vehicles - all-electric and plug-in hybrid), as well as some production of cells for traditional hybrids.

Panasonic lithium-ion battery cells

Panasonic lithium-ion battery cells

It's Panasonic's first automotive li-ion factory in China (they do have facilities for consumer electronics) and another step in its global expansion.

Panasonic recently expanded its production capacity in Japan, and of course has established a huge production facility with Tesla in the U.S. with the Gigafactory.

It is interesting to note that at this upcoming Chinese battery cell plant, prismatic cells (as with Tesla) are being made, which are not the industry standard for plug-in vehicles.  Panasonic did not note which customers specifically would be receiving product from the new factory.

"With an increasing awareness of environmental issues, the market for eco-friendly vehicles is expanding every year, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric vehicles. Panasonic has provided automotive lithium-ion batteries to a number of auto manufacturers on a global basis and is leading the automotive battery market.

Furthermore, in response to further increase in the demand of high-performance automotive lithium-ion batteries, Panasonic not only increased production at Japanese sites but will also start automotive battery cell production in the United States in 2017. The newly constructed factory in China is a new production facility of Panasonic Automotive Energy Dalian Co., Ltd., an automotive battery joint venture established between Panasonic and Dalian Levear Electric Co., Ltd. in February 2016.

Panasonic is aiming to achieve 2 trillion yen in sales for the overall automotive business, including infotainment systems and industrial devices, in the fiscal year 2019 (ending March 31, 2019) which marks the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding. Panasonic will develop the new factory into a core manufacturing site in China, and further strengthen its automotive battery business."

Overview of the new factory]
Site area: Approx. 170,000 m2
Floor area: Approx. 80,000 m2
Production items: Prismatic type lithium-ion batteries for eco-friendly vehicles
Production launch: Fiscal 2018, ending March 31, 2018
Name: Panasonic Automotive Energy Dalian Co., Ltd.
Location: 177 Haiming Street, Dalian Free Trade Zone, Liaoning, People's Republic of China
Establishment: February 2016
Capital: 273 million RMB
Representatives: Chairman: Guochen Liu, Managing Director: Nobukazu Yamanishi
Business operations: Design, manufacture, sales, and after-sales services of automotive batteries for eco-friendly vehicles.
Employees: Approx. 500 (FY2018 plan)