Toyota and Panasonic in joint venture for battery production

22 January 2019

22 January 2019

Toyota and Panasonic have concluded a joint-venture contract toward the establishment of a new company supplying and selling automotive prismatic batteries.

The two businesses will establish the venture by the end of 2020, subject to approval from competition law authorities, with the car manufacturer owning 51%. The scope of the joint venture’s business operations will cover research, development, production engineering, manufacturing, procurement, order receipt and management related to automotive prismatic lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries and next-generation batteries.

EVs need to tackle emissions targets and environmental issues now more than ever, therefore numerous battery-related challenges must be tackled. This includes having advanced technological capabilities to address issues of cost, energy density, charging time and safety, but also ensuring stable supply capacity and having effective recycling structures. The business environment is one in which independent efforts by battery manufacturers or automobile manufacturers are not enough for solving the issues concerned.

Since investigating the possibility of a joint venture in December 2017, the two companies have achieved high-capacity and high-output automotive prismatic batteries that lead the industry regarding both performance and cost. To contribute to the popularisation of Toyota’s and other automakers’ electrified vehicles, Toyota and Panasonic have also repeatedly held earnest discussions on the concrete details of their collaboration.

Toyota and Panasonic are confident that the contracts concluded today would further strengthen and accelerate their actions toward achieving competitive batteries. The companies plan to sell their batteries to competing automotive manufacturers to improve the uptake of EVs.

Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi comments: ′Together with Panasonic, we want to hone our competitiveness in batteries, which represent one of the core technologies of electrified vehicles. By contributing to the popularisation of Toyota’s and other automakers’ electrified vehicles, we want to help find solutions to issues such as global warming, environment-related challenges, and energy-related challenges. 

‘We have high expectations for the new company, including ″• as we aim to deliver ever-better electrified vehicles to even more customers ″• its role in fulfilling our plans for the popularization of electrified vehicles (including achieving Toyota annual global sales of more than 5.5 million units of electrified vehicles), which we announced at the end of 2017.’

Toyota will transfer equipment and personnel to the joint venture in the areas of development and production engineering related to battery cells. Panasonic will transfer equipment, other assets, liabilities, personnel, and other items to the joint venture in the areas of development, production engineering, manufacturing (at plants in Japan and in Dalian, China), procurement, order receipt, and management functions related to the automotive prismatic battery business.