While Lucid Motors has seemed to struggle for battery supply from LG Chem for its luxurious Air sedan, the company will diversify its supply base by turning to Panasonic Energy for lithium-ion cells for the Air and the upcoming 2024 Gravity SUV.
Panasonic will fulfill that demand for cells initially from its Japanese plant and then eventually with cells from a recently announced plant in De Soto, Kansas.
“Panasonic is a fantastic partner with both innovative technology and depth of experience,” said Lucid CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson. “This agreement will help us meet the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries as we continue to ramp production of the full Lucid Air line-up in 2023 and expect to begin production of our Gravity SUV in 2024.”
Panasonic is Tesla’s partner in the Nevada Gigafactory, but cells are in hot demand, so the company announced in July plans for another plant in a former ammunition plant in Kansas that will supplement the Nevada factory’s production and also provide batteries to Lucid.
“With the increased electrification of the automotive market, partnerships with technology-leading EV manufacturers such as Lucid are critical to our mission,” said Kazuo Tadanobu, President, CEO of Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd. “This partnership will help us drive growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and accelerate the world towards a net-zero emissions future.”
The Kansas plant will produce 30 gigawatt-hours of 2170 lithium-ion cells annually, with mass production by March 2025. “As the global shift to EVs accelerates, we are looking into ways to strengthen our battery production capacity in North America and meet the growing demand from our automotive partners,” Tadanobu added.
The Lucid Gravity will surely contribute to that growing demand, as it will be available in both two-row and three-row versions, with seating for as many as seven passengers in addition to cargo space the company terms “cavernous” and an “extra-large” front trunk. “Gravity builds upon everything we have achieved thus far, driving further advancements of our in-house technology to create a luxury performance SUV like none other,” said Rawlinson.