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Panasonic Energy Names Senior Leadership to Kansas EV Battery Facility

De Soto, Kans.,  - Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., a Panasonic Group company, today announced senior leadership for its new lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in De Soto, Kansas. These talented professionals will play a vital role in accelerating production to meet surging domestic electric vehicle battery demand. 

The De Soto Panasonic EV battery facility’s senior leadership will fill key roles across various departments, including operations, quality control, human resources, and research and development. These leaders bring a diverse set of skills and wealth of experience essential for the development of the facility and future employees.

“We are delighted to announce the new leadership team for our De Soto factory,” said Allan Swan, President of Panasonic Energy of North America and Leader of Project Kansas. “Their expertise will be instrumental in driving development and production, especially as we ramp up manufacturing of ‘2170’ cylindrical Li-ion batteries by 2025. With their support, we are confident in our ability to meet the demands of the industry and drive forward innovation, while pursuing a more prosperous and sustainable future for our society.”

“As we continue to develop the De Soto facility, it is essential we have an experienced team who understand the challenges of managing an EV battery facility,” said Carl Walton, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Facilities. “We are excited to expand our business and, with their expertise, we will be able to bring more job opportunities to this vibrant community. We are eager to attract and grow talent in the region, and long-time Kansan Kristen Walters will be instrumental in doing so as our new Vice President of Human Resources.”

The new leadership of the De Soto Panasonic EV battery factory are: 

  • Allan Swan, PENA President, Leader of Project Kansas
  • Koya Takahashi, SVP, Leader of Project Kansas
  • Masafumi Sonoda, SVP of Operations
  • Thomas Fickett, Chief Financial Officer
  • Eduardo Campos, VP of Quality
  • Innocent Chikunya, VP of Operations
  • Justin Herman, VP & Chief Information Officer
  • Hidetoshi Kaneko, VP of Supply Chain
  • Walt Miller, VP of Operational Excellence
  • Kristen Walters, VP of Human Resources
  • Carl Walton, VP of Strategic Initiatives & Facilities
  • Robert Winans, VP of Supply Chain

Panasonic Energy broke ground in De Soto in November 2022, and in April of this year, construction progressed to “going vertical” as the first steel beams were erected. The facility in De Soto will be the Company’s second EV battery facility in the U.S., following the PENA battery manufacturing operation in Sparks, Nevada. Initially, the new manufacturing facility in Kansas will expand the existing production of Panasonic’s 2170 EV batteries, which are currently in high demand from customers. Launching the facility with 2170 batteries ensures Panasonic can begin fulfilling customer orders quickly. Mass production is targeted to begin by the end of March 2025, with the initial production capacity of the new facility expected to be 30 GWh. In a phased approach, the Company plans to continue to strengthen its lineup of EV batteries and expand its production capacity in North America.

This project creates new jobs with competitive wages and will help drive economic growth and manufacturing advancement in the De Soto region, and across Kansas and the United States, while also supporting the Panasonic Group’s commitment to reducing global carbon emissions by promoting transportation electrification. 

About Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd.
Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., established in April 2022 as part of the Panasonic Group's switch to an operating company system, provides innovative battery technology-based products and solutions globally. Through its automotive lithium-ion batteries, storage battery systems and dry batteries, the company brings safe, reliable, and convenient power to a broad range of business areas, from mobility and social infrastructure to medical and consumer products. Panasonic Energy is committed to contributing to a society that realizes happiness and environmental sustainability, and through its business activities the Company aims to address societal issues while taking the lead on environmental initiatives. For more details, please visit

About the Panasonic Group

A global leader in developing innovative technologies and solutions for wide-ranging applications in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, industry, communications, and energy sectors worldwide, the Panasonic Group switched to an operating company system on April 1, 2022 with Panasonic Holdings Corporation serving as a holding company and eight companies positioned under its umbrella. Founded in 1918, the Group is committed to enhancing the well-being of people and society and conducts its businesses based on founding principles applied to generate new value and offer sustainable solutions for today’s world. The Group reported consolidated net sales of 7,388.8 billion yen for the year ended March 31, 2022. Devoted to improving the well-being of people, the Panasonic Group is united in providing superior products and services to help you Live Your Best. To learn more about the Panasonic Group, please visit:

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