What does it mean to hear about a new factory opening? Much may depend on what is actually made there. Much has been written about Tesla’s plans for open a huge factory in Texas, for example, but that’s only part of the story. Tesla’s own manufacturing efforts also include components made by other companies – and that’s what makes another piece of news about opening a different factory so important.

Autoblog cites an NHK report indicating that Panasonic plans to open a new factory in the United States not far from the new Tesla factory. The timeline isn’t clear yet, but it ties into other ongoing Panasonic efforts that should have a big impact on Tesla’s future offerings.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Panasonic was developing larger capacity lithium-iron batteries for use in Tesla vehicles. Among the advantages of using these batteries was a noticeable extension of cruising distance – in particular, the addition of about a fifth of the existing distance to its capabilities.

Autoblog’s report on the next Panasonic factory also suggests that the new batteries would reduce Tesla’s overall costs, which could make electric vehicles more affordable and, presumably, accelerate their adoption by a wider segment of the population.

What we don’t know yet is when this plant will be operational. But you’d think it wouldn’t be long – after all, it’s much easier to cross state borders with batteries than to transport them internationally.

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