Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic are reportedly set to announce a joint venture and join the growing electric vehicle (EV) market. The duo will produce batteries for such new innovations, which will be fully launched in 2020. At present, more than 50% of the world’s lithium-ion batteries are produced in China, leading the two companies to compete with strong Chinese players for increased market share.
The venture will be 51% owned by Toyota and 49% by Panasonic. Up to five Panasonic manufacturing facilities will be integrated into the partnership to ramp up production figures, bolster their joint positions in the market and enable both businesses to lower cost and ensure scalability. It also expands on a prior agreement to develop batteries for a number of Toyota and Panasonic hybrid vehicles.
The duo will aim to supply Mazda Motor, as well as Daihatsu Motor and Subaru. At present, Panasonic supplies lithium-ion batteries for the Prius Prime hybrid model, and is the exclusive battery cell supplier for Tesla’s vehicles. However, this is set to change, where founder Elon Musk has admitted that the business will soon look to source its batteries from other companies, including Panasonic. The deal with Toyota will remain separate to this.
As part of the deal, Panasonic will aim to relocate its prismatic battery-related facilities in Japan and China, which will feed into Toyota’s aim to sell approximately one million electric vehicles in 2030.