Panasonic has a new, multi-year partnership with Lucid to supply lithium-ion battery cells to the EV automaker. The components will be both for the Lucid Air sedan and the upcoming Gravity SUV.
“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,” said Peter Rawlinson, the automaker’s CEO and CTO.
The Panasonic battery cells will initially come from Japan. Later, the company’s new factory in De Soto, Kansas, will make the components for Lucid. The automaker takes the individual cells and compiles them into packs for the vehicles.
A Lucid spokesperson offered some additional details to Motor1.com. “This agreement for the purchase of battery cells begins in 2023 and runs through 2031,” the spokesperson said.
Panasonic broke ground on the Kansas battery factory on November 2. The company is investing $4 billion to build a plant that can produce 30 gigawatt-hours of packs each year. It would create around 4,000 jobs. The site is making the 2170-type cylindrical lithium-ion cells that it also builds for Tesla in Nevada. Manufacturing at the new site is supposed to begin in late March 2025.
Panasonic has plans to expand its battery production capacity even further in the United States. The goal is to go from about 50 GWh per year by March 31, 2024, and reach from 150 to 200 GWh annually by 2030.
The factory in Kansas could eventually be able to build 4680-type cells. These are the type of components that Tesla intends to use in future battery packs.
Lucid continues to broaden the Air range. In November, it announced the entry-level Pure trim and slightly more premium Touring grade. The entry-level model starts at $92,900 and has an estimated range of 410 miles (660 kilometers), and the nicer one begins at $107,400 for a sedan that can go 425 miles (684 kilometers).
There’s less info available about the Lucid Gravity. A recent preview indicates it would be a three-row SUV with room for seven. The company is still finalizing performance specs and the vehicle design.