Panasonic Holdings Corp (6752.T), a supplier to electric-car maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), is holding talks to set up an additional electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in the United States at a cost of about $4 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Panasonic is considering Oklahoma as the location for its new factory, the newspaper said.
A Panasonic spokesperson said:
“We are examining various growth strategies for our automotive battery business, but there is no further information that we can share at the moment aside from what we have already announced.”
Last month, Panasonic chose Kansas as the site for a new battery plant that state officials said would provide up to 4,000 jobs with investment of up to $4 billion.
At that time, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce said it and its partners “continued to work with Project Ocean,” Panasonic’s battery factory project, and were “optimistic for additional opportunities with them in the future”.
The department said on Friday that “due to non-discourse agreements (on projects), we will not be providing comments on this story”.
Earlier in the year, Oklahoma said it would deploy $698 million to undertake Project Ocean under a bill made for alluring an unidentified company that will invest at least $3.6 billion and provide at least 4,000 new jobs within five years.Buy Bitcoin Now
Oklahoma is an adjacent state to Texas, which houses Tesla’s car and battery production facilities. The Japanese conglomerate also said it was viewing possible factory sites in Oklahoma and Kansas to supply the batteries to Tesla’s plant in Texas.
Panasonic has been in partnership with Tesla for over a decade, supplying batteries from its plant in Nevada, California. The auto industry has been increasing production of EVs to meet a higher demand, accelerating orders for batteries and raw materials such as cobalt and lithium, among others.
Tesla failed to promptly return a Reuters request for comment.
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