Toyota Motor Corp and Panasonic Corp are set to launch a joint venture (JV) next year to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV) in an effort to compete with Chinese rivals.
The joint venture, to be owned 51 percent by Toyota and the rest by Panasonic, could also provide batteries to Toyota’s EV technology partners Mazda Corp and Subaru Corp.
A joint venture would build on the agreement that the pair announced in late 2017 on joint development of batteries with higher energy density in a prismatic cell arrangement.
Under a planned joint venture, Panasonic would shift most of its prismatic battery-related equipment and facilities in Japan and China to the joint venture, while those producing batteries for U.S. EV maker Tesla Inc will remain under the company, the source said.
Panasonic already makes prismatic batteries for Toyota, whereas for Tesla, it makes cylindrical batteries of a type similar to those used in laptops. Panasonic is set to lose its exclusivity as Tesla plans to source cell production locally at a new auto plant in Shanghai, “most likely from several companies” including Panasonic
The two companies may announce the joint venture plan as early as this week, according to the source.
The battery joint venture will help Toyota achieve an annual sales target of around 1 million zero-emission battery EVs and fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) by 2030.
Reference- Reuters, TOI, Cleantechnica