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KC SmartPort Leads Discussion on the Electric Revolution

by Mary Rooney | Apr 13, 2023

KC SmartPort’s 2023 Annual Industry Briefing celebrated the Kansas City region’s momentum as a leader in the field of electrification, bringing together 650+ local and national business leaders on April 12, 2023. 

The event featured Panasonic and Burns & McDonnell leadership, who shared their insights on the electric vehicle (EV) industry and its impact on infrastructure, global supply chains and industrial development.

The speakers also discussed how Kansas City’s robust infrastructure, central location and skilled workforce make it a leading location as the world moves into the next phase of electrification. The selection of the region by Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., for its estimated $4 billion EV battery manufacturing facility in 2022, solidified the region as an electrification hub.

“The new facility will increase our global capacity by 60% and provide much-needed capacity to the American EV battery supply chain,” said Ajay Gnanasekaran, director of strategy and program management with Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd. “We're excited to join the Kansas community and make the area a key driver for the EV industry, while expanding production of lithium-ion batteries to automakers across the U.S. and supporting more sustainable transportation options for consumers.

“It is an exciting time to be in the electricity business — and at Burns & McDonnell — as the share of renewable energy on the grid grows at a quickening pace and the power generation industry innovates and changes in ways that we probably haven’t seen in 100 years,” said Chris Ruckman, vice president, energy storage, at Burns & McDonnell. “There is no disputing the importance of renewable energy in our future, and with some of the best engineering, architecture, and construction talent in the world in Kansas City, I think our city’s best days are still ahead.”

Electric vehicle innovation finds a solid foundation in Kansas City, as the region’s transportation manufacturing industry is valued at $19 billion and produces more than 650,000 vehicles each year. The region also offers companies a variety of distribution-related advantages, including abundant access to multi-modal transportation and 85% of the U.S. accessible in two days or less by road.

“Kansas City is a leading market globally to move the electric revolution forward,” said Chris Gutierrez, president of KC SmartPort. “As a centralized inland logistics port, our region has the location and resources to support global enterprise and ancillary suppliers as they expand and innovate in the EV space. ”

2023 Sponsors

The support and partnership of our sponsors made this year’s event a success.

A special thank you to our Marquee sponsors.


View all KC SmartPort Annual Industry Briefing Sponsors


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