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Panasonic to build $4 billion electric vehicle battery plant in De Soto, Kansas

Panasonic plans to hire 4,000 workers

Date: Friday, July 15, 2022
Source: By Brian Johnson, KMBC 9 News


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly described a $4-billion deal bringing a Panasonic plant to De Soto as a once-in-a-generation investment.

The plant will produce electric vehicle batteries for Tesla and other carmakers. This is the largest investment in the history of Kansas.

Panasonic plans to hire 4,000 workers, and the investment could create an additional 4,000 jobs. This puts Kansas in the center of one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.

"We will be the production epicenter for batteries that will power the increasing demand for EVs and a more sustainable world," Kelly said.

The plant will be located in De Soto. The site will be land once used for the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant.

"Economic development is about people. Young people shouldn't have to leave our state after graduation for better economic opportunities in Dallas or Denver or Nashville," said Kansas Lt. Gov. David Toland.

Panasonic said it will pay an average of $50,000 a year per worker. That's $18,000 more than the median income in Kansas. It's a big win after record investments landed by state leaders.

"The most business investment per capita of any state in the nation. We're No. 1," Kelly said.

Panasonic was reportedly looking to build in either Oklahoma or Kansas; somewhere close to Texas where Tesla is building an electric-vehicle plant. The two companies jointly operate a battery plant in Nevada.

"We've shown that the state of Kansas is truly a winning investment for companies small, large and mega-sized," Kelly said.

The deal comes with tax incentives worth nearly $1 billion over 10 years. It also means the state will lower its top corporate tax rates by half a percentage point. That saves every company in the state millions of dollars every year. Leaders say this investment will benefit the entire state and not just De Soto.

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