Panasonic’s $4 billion EV battery plant will land in Kansas

Panasonic’s $4 billion EV battery plant will land in Kansas

Panasonic has picked De Soto, Kansas, to build a new EV battery plant, which projects to bring up to $4 billion in investments for the state, the Kansas governor’s office said in a press release. The press release predicts the plant will create up to 4,000 jobs, plus estimates of 4,000 additional jobs with suppliers and community businesses.

In April, Kansas and Oklahoma were both among the locations reportedly in the running for potential locations for Panasonic’s new battery plant. Oklahoma’s governor notably pushed lawmakers to approve a $700 million rebate package without naming which company it might benefit.

In its press release, Kansas credited the passing of its Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion Act (SB 347), or APEX Act, in February as a catalyst for the decision. “When the Kansas Legislature passed the APEX legislation, this was the kind of megaproject we had in mind,” Representative Ron Ryckman of Kansas said.

Now that the deal is signed, KCTV5 reports the governor’s office revealed the incentive package is worth up to $829.2 million, including a $500 million investment tax credit that stretches over five years and a $234 million payroll rebate paid over 10 years, among other sweeteners. The Kansas Reflector writes that a “lack of financial certainty” in Oklahoma’s offer may have been the difference for Panasonic. Of course, all those numbers are tied to certain goals being met, which doesn’t always happen — remember Wisconsin and Foxconn?

The new factory is expected to be bigger than Panasonic and Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada, TechCrunch reported. Panasonic announced in February that it planned to begin mass-producing lithium-ion batteries for Tesla by 2024.

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