The Japanese tech giant will be purchasing a sizeable piece of land in the USA for a new factory.
The 4680 battery pack is said to be the next step in energy storage for electric cars. It is not a solid-state battery but thanks to its compact soda can-like dimensions of 1.8 inches wide and 3.2 inches tall, it bears monumental packaging advantages. We first caught wind of the 4680 when Elon Musk expressed his desire to apply it to future Tesla Model 3 and other production models.
Tesla appointed its longstanding battery partner Panasonic to develop the technology but due to its lengthy production times, it very shortly announced that it would be taking the project in-house. Last month however, it was revealed via a financial presentation that Panasonic had plans to commence with manufacturing trials of the innovative battery.
As reported by Nikkei in a public broadcast last week Friday, an insider has revealed that Panasonic is getting ready to purchase a substantial piece of land for a new factory in the USA in order to develop and manufacture the 4680 battery. We could expect this plant to be built in Oklahoma or Kansas as this is near the new Tesla production facility.
Although Panasonic has said that no such announcement has been officially declared, the presentation did make mention of an upcoming plant to be constructed on US soil in the mid-term capital allocation section. We also know that the company is installing assembly equipment for the in-demand battery at its existing Wakayama plant in Japan.
Currently, all of the manufacturers that have a jump on electrified car production are looking to move away from the relatively dated lithium-ion battery technology. Mercedes-Benz's EQ division is known to be investing heavily in solid-state battery production for its upcoming cars. It's understood that the German brand has approached Taiwanese startup ProLogium with a substantial cash injection to create this crucial battery pack.
Toyota is also diving into the solid-state world but it will be applying these to its hybrid-electric cars before any of its future EVs. Despite the Japanese showing a concerted effort to create battery-electric cars, it will not falter on hybrid technology in the future.