Panasonic announced that it will expand its EV battery-related operations in Nevada - as the electric vehicle market revs up.
The Japanese company already produces 2170-type cylindrical lithium-ion cells for Tesla at the Tesla Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, and now would like to add a new campus in Reno.
According to Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA), a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the new multi-function facility is anticipated to open in Spring 2022 and will support the company’s overall EV strategy. It will actually become PENA’s division headquarters with engineering labs:
"The 94,483 sq. ft. existing building at 645 East Plumb Lane managed by Industrial Realty Group, LLC (IRG) in Reno is being renovated to become PENA’s division headquarters and will feature state-of the-art engineering labs, employee recruitment and training facilities, and other support functions."
"The announcement comes seven years after Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation announced PENA would produce lithium-ion batteries at Tesla's Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada. While operations at Gigafactory 1 will continue, PENA intends to take advantage of the Reno location to expand local engineering capacity and talent acquisition and upskilling, further propelling its position in the electric vehicle market."
According to the Q3 2021 report, Panasonic's global EV battery manufacturing capacity stands at 50 GWh (including some 38-39 GWh of the 2170-type at the Tesla Gigafactory 1).
Currently, PENA employs more than 4,000 people. The new investment indicates that the tie-up with Tesla remains strong and might even be expanded at some point in the future.
One of the most important projects for Panasonic is the 4680-type cylindrical cells. Depending on progress, the company might score a major order for these new batteries.
Allan Swan, president, PENA said:
"Our new facility in Reno underscores our commitment to evolving and growing to stay at the forefront of the mobility market. Investing in innovation and workforce initiatives in the local community supports our mission of creating a future powered by sustainable energy."