The dramatic shift toward electric vehicles has created numerous opportunities to produce EV batteries, software solutions, charging stations and more.
In northeast Kansas, one of the nation’s largest EV battery manufacturing facilities of its kind is under construction. Panasonic recently chose De Soto for a $4 billion plant to produce a new generation, high-capacity EV battery. The plant will employ at least 4,000 workers and create another 4,000 ancillary jobs, with an annual economic impact of $2.5 billion in the state — a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Kansas’ economy.
With the plan announced in July 2022, the Panasonic site now is bustling with construction activity. Mass production will begin by early 2025 to help meet North America’s fast-growing market for EVs.
“Innovations happening right here in Kansas will accelerate the future of electric vehicles on a global scale,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We will be the production epicenter for batteries that will power the increasing demand for EVs and a more sustainable world.”
As projections show more than half of U.S. car sales will be electric by 2030, Kansas is becoming the nation’s leader in manufacturing EV batteries and other EV-related endeavors. And Kansas’ 10-year transportation plan includes significant funding for a new EV charging network in the state.
As projections show more than half of U.S. car sales will be electric by 2030, Kansas is becoming the nation’s leader in manufacturing EV batteries and other EV-related endeavors. A New Incentives Toolkit
To win intense competition among several states for Panasonic, Kansas unveiled a new incentive toolkit designed to help attract $1 billion+ megaprojects. A thoughtful blend of tax and other financial incentives that was passed in record time with bipartisan support, the Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion (APEX) Act is a difference-maker in a time of challenging and evolving global competition for businesses and jobs.
APEX gives Kansas an edge over other states in addressing the unique needs of companies planning megaprojects. Panasonic was the first. APEX was employed a second time this February with Integra Technologies —– a Wichita semiconductor manufacturer. Pending its application for federal CHIPS Act funding, Integra will invest $1.8 billion building a new, one-million-square-foot plant — creating 2,000 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs.
Kansas continues recruiting other opportunities to transform the statewide economy. For example, Orange EV recently announced the relocation of its headquarters to a much larger facility in Kansas City, Kansas. The move will enable the company to double the number of electric terminal trucks, also known as yard trucks or mules, produced annually to meet surging demand.
There’s also heightened focus in Kansas on fortifying the skilled manufacturing labor pool in a state already known for robust workforce development and talent attraction. Building the Skilled Workforce
There’s also heightened focus in Kansas on fortifying the skilled manufacturing labor pool in a state already known for robust workforce development and talent attraction. The state’s new Office of Registered Apprenticeship in the Department of Commerce is preparing more Kansans for the modern workforce, with thousands of participants currently gaining the skills necessary to succeed in industries driving the state’s future. Workforce strategies include working closely with higher education institutions to match degrees with business needs and keep more graduates in the state.
Meanwhile, the Office of Innovation continues recruiting cutting-edge businesses that make Kansas the innovation hub of the Midwest and one of the best places in the country and world to do business. The state’s recent record-setting business growth is proof. Since 2019, Kansas has attracted $15.2 billion in new capital investment and created and retained over 54,000 jobs — all made possible by supercharged, visionary efforts to modernize economic development and seize more opportunities now and in the future.
To learn more about doing business in Kansas, please visit kansascommerce.gov.
Kansas Department of Commerce
Kansas Commerce works to empower individuals, businesses, and communities to achieve prosperity for all. We accomplish this through relationships with business leaders, site location consultants and stakeholders under the lens of our Framework for Growth. Our strong partnerships and low regulatory burden help create an environment for all businesses to grow and foster an innovative and future-proof economy.