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CES 2023: Panasonic Sees Growth Opportunity in EV Batteries

Panasonic has been working in battery manufacturing for more than 100 years and is a market leader in innovating advanced battery technology.

Panasonic’s press conference offered the first celebrity sightings at CES 2023, as Kal Penn (known for his work in the Harold & Kumar films as well as being a White House staffer for Barak Obama), was called on to host the event, with U.S. Olympic ice-skating Gold Medalist Nathan Chen coming out to discuss his involvement in working with Panasonic on climate issues.

Kal Penn at Panasonic CES 2023 Press Conference
Kal Penn. Photo by John Staley.

Panasonic spent the majority of the press conference focusing on its green initiatives. For 100 years, Panasonic’s goal has been to develop technologies that improve people’s lives, and pursuing sustainability is the natural evolution of Panasonic’s goal of bringing good things to the world, focusing on how we power communities, how we travel and how we enjoy time at home.

Through a variety of initiatives, Panasonic’s Green ImpACT plan hopes to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and avoiding nearly 200 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2050. The company is also focusing on “Avoided Emissions,” which is the difference in size of emissions between existing electronics products and newly developed energy-efficient products.

Transportation accounts for 27 percent of greenhouse emissions in the United States, the largest of any sector. Studies estimate that by 2030 more than half of all car sales in the U.S. could be electric, and the company sees increasing battery supply for electric vehicle (EV) vehicles as a huge growth opportunity.

Panasonic has been working in battery manufacturing for more than 100 years and is now the market leader in innovating advanced battery technology and production in EV battery manufacture. The company’s EV battery production facility in Reno, Nev., produces 66 batteries per second, 5.5 million batteries per day, and over 2 billion per year. To plan for growth, a new EV battery production facility in De Soto, Kans., is expected to come online by March 2025, which will increase production by 60 percent.

U.S. Olympic ice-skating Gold Medalist Nathan Chen at Panasonic CES 2023 Press Conference
U.S. Olympic ice-skating Gold Medalist Nathan Chen. Photo by John Staley.

The company touted how it is working with recycled materials in its EV battery production to further reduce waste, as well as its “Take back for tomorrow” program, which will recycle old devices instead of trashing them, with an ultimate goal that an existing recycled electronic product will eventually end up as a component in a Panasonic battery.

In line with its sustainability theme, the company’s booth (#16317) this year features natural and recycled materials throughout, even foregoing carpet. The booth will feature four key areas that highlight different aspects of the company’s goals and technologies: park, town, mobility and home. For those unable to attend in person, an online booth walkthrough will be available.

Americans spend an estimated 91 billion hours per year in vehicles, and Panasonic is interested in improving this experience while keeping an eye on sustainability with improved, more efficient options that don’t sacrifice quality. Less power drain means more battery travel distance, and new audio systems designed specifically for EV utilize space-saving speakers that weigh less, require less wiring and use 67 percent less power.

Also shown was a new nanoe X portable air purifier that fits into any vehicle’s cupholder and provides cleaner in-cabin air by inhibiting virus, mold and bacteria. They also announced a new in-vehicle voice control system that will simultaneously allow access to both Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, for the first time, giving users access to both Apple’s CarPlay and Alexa’s smart in-vehicle control.

Finally, the company announced a new flagship MZ2000 OLED will be on display at the booth, producing the best and brightest picture yet.