Panasonic Holdings is in the process of negotiating a site for a third electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in the US with Oklahoma said to be one of three states under active consideration.

The electronics supplier said it had been talking with the Oklahoma state government about terms for a new factory, having indicated at the beginning of this year it would likely require a third EV battery plant as it looks to lift annual US production capacity to between 150 and 200 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2028.

Panasonic began construction of a second US plant in Kansas at the end of 2022, as part of a US$4bn investment mainly to meet growing demand from its primary customer Tesla.

The company currently supplies the US EV maker with batteries from a jointly operated plant in Nevada which has capacity for around 40 GWh of 2170 cylindrical cells.

Panasonic and the Oklahoma government recently signed a preliminary agreement stipulating investment incentives, although the company was quick to stress it had not yet made a final decision on plant location.

A Panasonic spokesperson said: “It is true we have concluded a contract but no other details have been decided yet”, adding Oklahoma was just one state under consideration and “the agreement does not guarantee any investment”.

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While Panasonic supplies Tesla, which is by far the largest EV manufacturer in the US, the company is playing catch up with South Korean battery makers which have announced substantial investments in North American capacity to meet growing demand from the likes of GM, Ford, Stellantis, Hyundai-Kia, Honda and Toyota.

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