Panasonic to start building massive battery plant in De Soto next month

Panasonic is slated to begin construction of its planned electric vehicle battery plant in De...
Panasonic is slated to begin construction of its planned electric vehicle battery plant in De Soto sometime in November, with production set to start by March 2025.(KCTV5)
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 5:51 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
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DE SOTO, Ks. (KCTV) - Panasonic is slated to begin construction of its planned electric vehicle battery plant in De Soto sometime in November, with production set to start by March 2025.

The Japanese-based company made the announcement Monday in Tokyo, according to a Reuters news report. The massive construction project has excited people in and around De Soto like Kenny Tygart. Tygart owns a pressure washing company.

He said he was hopeful that the project would bring growth to the small Kansas Town.

“It’s a great situation for business,” Tygart said. “More people more business. It will definitely help me.”

Others in town hoped the development would increase property values throughout Johnson County. Paul Hansen, who lived a miles away in Olathe, felt that he would benefit from the project’s proximity.

“I think it will bring quite a bit,” Hansen said.

The Kansas battery plant will mostly supply lithium-ion EV batteries to Tesla vehicles as part of an existing deal between the car company and Panasonic’s energy unit.

Kansas state officials announced in July that it had secured a commitment from Panasonic to build an EV battery plant at the site of the former Sunflower Ammunition Plant in De Soto, the third factory of its kind in the U.S. The commitment came after the state approved an $829 million investment package to entice the conglomerate to the Sunflower State.

The package included a $500 million investment tax credit (12.5% over 5 years); a $234 million payroll rebate paid over 10 years; $5 million for education and training per year over five years; a relocation investment of $1 million per year over 10 years; and a $60.2 million sales tax exemption over 5 years.

Gov. Laura Kelly called it an investment that will benefit the entire state. It’s expected to create 4,000 new jobs, plus support an estimated 4,000 additional jobs created by suppliers and community businesses, along with 16,500 construction jobs.