Panasonic says it may build EV battery plant in Oklahoma

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s Panasonic Holdings, a battery supplier to electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, said on Sunday that it is considering building a battery plant in Oklahoma, its third in the United States.

“Panasonic has entered into an agreement with the State of Oklahoma that defines the eligibility and terms of the incentives under Oklahoma’s LEAD Act,” the company told Reuters in an email, referring to an incentive package the state has established to attract major companies to its MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor.

“There are no other specific decisions that have been made by the Company. We will share more information as it is available,” the statement said.

Panasonic’s decision to consider Oklahoma, which was reported earlier by Kyodo news agency, comes amid surging sales for electric vehicles, and other EV makers besides longtime customer Tesla are looking to the Japanese conglomerate as a possible battery supplier.

Panasonic is in talks with other Stellantis and BMW about building a new EV plant in North America, the Wall Street journal reported this month.

The Japanese company in July rejected Oklahoma as the site for its second EV battery plant, picking Kansas instead to make batteries for Tesla. State officials there said that investment of up to $4 billion will create up to 4,000 jobs.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)


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