© 2023 KGOU
News and Music for Oklahoma
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Panasonic chooses Kansas over Oklahoma for its new EV battery plant

John Locher
People walk by the Panasonic booth during CES International, on Jan. 9, 2018, in Las Vegas. Japan’s Panasonic Corp. selected Kansas as the location for a multibillion-dollar mega-factory to produce electric vehicle batteries for Tesla and other carmakers, Gov. Laura Kelly announced Wednesday, July 13, 2022.

Oklahoma has lost to Kansas in attracting an electric vehicle battery plant. Panasonic has announced it has selected Kansas for its new $4 billion manufacturing facility.

Panasonic was considering the Mid-American Industrial Park near Pryor in northeastern Oklahoma as a potential site.

According to Japanese-based news source Nikkei Asia, the company decided to go with Kansas for its favorable tax treatment and its proximity to Texas—even though Oklahoma is closer.

The news comes after Oklahoma lawmakers offered the Japanese company hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic development incentives. In April, state lawmakers passed the LEAD act that set aside nearly $700 million to attract big companies like Panasonic. The Kansas incentive package was more than a billion dollars.

The factory is expected to hire as many as 4,000 people and supply a new high-capacity battery used in the electric vehicles produced by Tesla in Austin, Texas.

KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.

Nyk has worked in radio since 2011 serving as a board operator, on-air announcer and production director for commercial radio stations in Iowa. Originally from the Quad Cities area, Nyk joined KGOU in 2018 as a practicum student studying Creative Media Production at OU. Upon graduating the following year, he became part of KGOU’s staff and is now the local Morning Edition host. When not on the air, Nyk likes to read, listen to music and follow news about the radio industry.
More News
Support nonprofit, public service journalism you trust. Give now.