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Governor Kelly Announces H&T Recharge Investing $110M, Creating 180 Jobs as New Panasonic Supplier 

Mar 20, 2024

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TOPEKA– Governor Laura Kelly today announced that H&T Recharge, one of the largest battery component manufacturers in the world, is investing $110 million and creating 180 new jobs in De Soto. Leading cell manufacturer Panasonic Energy chose H&T Recharge as its strategic supplier for cylindrical battery cans at the new EV battery facility currently under construction.  

“My administration is dedicated to making Kansas the best place for businesses to start or grow,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Kansas is attractive to companies from around the world because of our history of steady economic performance, talented workforce, and growing electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem. H&T’s decision to co-locate with Panasonic is proof that the work we are doing to attract business is paying off.” 

H&T is recognized as a world leader in precision cylindrical battery components for the lithium-ion battery can market.  

In De Soto, H&T will install four new fully automated battery can production lines for mass manufacturing volumes. The product and process development operations will be at H&T’s Center of Excellence in Marsberg, Germany. 

“We are honored to engage with Panasonic Energy to support the battery cell production in De Soto,” H&T Recharge President Tobias Ott said. “Panasonic Energy is a great partner for H&T, which has over 40 years of experience in the mass production of cylindrical battery cans. We will ensure a successful execution with our U.S.-based mass production resources and experience, combined with research and development out of our Center of Excellence in Germany.” 

H&T cited the Kansas City area’s skilled manufacturing workforce, reliable infrastructure, and central location in North America as the factors that make it an ideal location for the new co-located facility and this key milestone for the company’s growth in the EV battery market. 

“H&T’s investment in Kansas is significant as they are the first of many companies that will be adding to the transformational stimulus begun when Panasonic broke ground in De Soto,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “The expansion of the EV battery sector is not only creating new job opportunities but is adding to the momentum that has made Kansas the nation’s best place to live, work, and invest.” 

The new Kansas manufacturing facility will expand the existing battery can production for Panasonic’s 2170 EV batteries. Mass production is targeted to begin by the end of March 2025, with an initial production capacity of approximately 30 gigawatt hours (GWh). 

“We’re always happy to see more good jobs coming to De Soto,” De Soto Mayor Rick Walker said.  “We’re also excited about the work being done to bring electric vehicle battery suppliers to our area. Keeping the supply chain local not only produces more jobs in the region, it reduces the overall carbon footprint. We’re looking forward to seeing more of this in the future.” 

H&T and Panasonic Energy have been working together since 2017, when the company was selected as the supplier of cylindrical battery cans for Panasonic’s facility in Reno, Nevada. 

H&T Recharge is part of the Heitkamp & Thumann Group, a leading global company focused on developing and supplying precision-formed metal and plastic components and devices. H&T Recharge is headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany.