In line with the fast-growing EV market, Panasonic is opening a new EV battery factory in China — the world’s #1 EV market.
Panasonic is known for partnering with Tesla — they have been building Gigafactory 1 and improving lithium-ion battery cell chemistry together — but the company is working on EV battery production and development on its own as well.
The latest news is Panasonic once more is setting up a global battery cell production system for “eco-friendly vehicles,” but this time without Tesla. It’s a new automotive lithium-ion battery factory in Dalian, China. The factory is the first automotive battery cell production site for Panasonic in China.
As Panasonic continues its rapid EV battery growth, it has factories planned for Japan, the United States, and China. Its leadership helps to solve environmental issues and also create highly valued jobs. The EV battery market is one of the biggest new tech markets in the world, and Panasonic is recognized to be at the front of the pack for global EV battery sales and overall EV battery development.
Panasonic notes, “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.”
The vision is for Panasonic to reach 2 trillion yen ($17.9 billion) in sales in the overall automotive business in the fiscal year 2019 (ending March 31, 2019), which is the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding. Note, however, that the $17.9 billion relates to far more than batteries — also infotainment systems and “industrial devices.”
Here are some more details from Panasonic:
[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
[Overview of the joint venture company (as of April 2017)]
- 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)