Production of prismatic li-ion cells is now underway at Panasonic’s Dalian facility, as the company looks to support output from its US and Chinese sites
Panasonic has begun production of prismatic li-ion batteries in earnest at its new factory in Dalian, China, with the first shipment of cells having left the site on March 13.
Opened in April last year, the roughly 170,000 m2 facility is the company’s first automotive battery cell production site in China. Panasonic says it has invested around 900 million yuan (US$140 million) in the facility.
Output from its Dalian plant will complement the company’s existing Japanese sites, as well as the Nevada-based Gigafactory, which it co-owns with Tesla, and which began production in January 2017.
In addition to customers in North America and China, the company says shipments will be expanded in the future to reach more destinations.
As well as its ongoing relationship with Tesla, the manufacturer announced in December that it would collaborate with Japanese automaker Toyota to develop a new jointly owned prismatic cell business. According to a statement at the time: “Both companies will consider details of the collaboration with the aim of achieving the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and, ultimately, contributing to the popularisation of Toyota’s and other automakers’ electrified vehicles.”
Having worked with Toyota since 1953, Panasonic provided batteries for the original Toyota Prius.
At Jaunary’s CES show in Las Vegas, the company also debuted a scalable “ePowertrain” concept. The architecture, aimed at small EVs and e-bikes, would allow emobility developers to build their own vehicles on top of a standardised platform and includes an onboard charger, junction box, inverter, DC-DC converter, and motor.