Toyota & Panasonic Establish Joint Venture Company to Build EV Batteries
【Summary】The Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic announced a new joint venture to develop advanced automotive prismatic batteries for use in electric vehicles. The new joint venture aims to be operating by 2020.
The Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic announced a new joint venture to develop advanced automotive prismatic batteries for use in electric vehicles. Pending approval from regulators, the new joint venture aims to be operating by 2020.
Toyota will own a 51 percent majority stake in the new company and Panasonic will own the remaining 49 percent. Toyota and Panasonic plan to transfer 3,500 employees to the new company.
Panasonic is one of the world's biggest suppliers of EV batteries, along with South Korea-based Samsung, LG Chem and China's CATL.
According to a statement from both companies, the joint venture includes research, development, production engineering, manufacturing, procurement and management related to automotive prismatic lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries, and next-generation batteries to be used in future models.
Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi said: "Together with Panasonic, we want to hone our competitiveness in batteries, which represent one of the core technologies of electrified vehicles."
Toyota and Panasonic first announced an agreement to study the feasibility of a joint automotive prismatic battery business in Dec 2017. Over the past year, the two companies said they achieved in making high-capacity and high-output automotive prismatic batteries that lead the industry in terms of both performance and cost.
The joint venture aims to become the leader in battery-development and battery-manufacturing capabilities. Toyota and Panasonic intend to work together from the vehicle planning and conception stage, and promote the acceleration of high-capacity and high-output EV battery development.
Toyota said the joint venture with Panasonic will merge the strengths of each company.
Toyota is contributing its know-how in building electrified vehicles advanced technologies, as well as utilize Toyota's advanced manufacturing capabilities. Panasonic will contribute technologies related to the manufacturing of safe, high-capacity and high-output batteries and mass-production technologies.
Panasonic Senior Managing Executive Officer Masahisa Shibata said: "Uniting with Toyota's battery and production-engineering technologies provides us an excellent opportunity for being able to evolve our automotive prismatic batteries."
The 2019 Toyota Prius at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show
Toyota said is the technology developed by the joint venture will eventually be sold to various automakers, mainly by Panasonic.
The move to partner with a battery supplier is part of a broader effort by Toyota and other automakers to ensure they have a adequate supply of reliable EV batteries, as automakers transition to building battery-powered, zero-emissions electric vehicles that are more efficient. As vehicle electrification accelerates, having a reliable supply of EV batteries is crucial for global automakers like Toyota and others.
At the end of 2017, Toyota announced that it plans to reach global sales of more than 5.5 million units of electrified vehicles by 2030.
"It would be difficult for us to meet our 2030 goals given the current pace of battery development. That's why we're looking to Panasonic and other companies to help us develop ever-better cars and batteries." Toyota President Akio Toyoda said at a news conference announcing the joint venture.
Developing Higher Density EV Batteries
Numerous battery-related technologies are still being developed across the automotive industry to address issues of cost, including developing batteries with higher energy density and faster charging times. The goal is to be able to mass-produce these types of improved batteries, ensuring a steady supply for the auto industry.
In November 2018, Reuters reported that Germany has earmarked 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to support a consortium looking to produce electric car battery cells and plans to fund a research facility to develop next-generation solid-state batteries. The move was designed to reduce the dependence of German automakers including Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen on Asian EV battery suppliers, such as Panasonic.
Prismatic vs Cylindrical Cell EV Batteries
Prismatic batteries are different from that batteries built in Tesla's Gigafactory in an exclusive partnership with Panasonic. In Telsa's electric vehicles, the battery pack is composed of cylindrical cell batteries, which are wound into a round cylinder and look similar to a standard flashlight battery. Tesla and Panasonic decided to use cylindrical cells for ease of manufacturing, optimal capacity and lower production costs.
Prismatic cells on the other hand are built by stacking thin layers of electrodes and separators and sealing them in a rectangular case. These types of batteries are typically found in cell phones and laptops.
In the statement from Toyota, Terashi said, "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."
New Premium Electric Vehicle Brand Zeekr Is Exploring IPO Options in the U.S. or Hong Kong, According to Sources
Ford Announces the Largest Utility Agreement in the U.S. History to Assemble All of its Vehicles in Michigan Using 100% Renewable Energy by 2025
Lucid’s New ‘Stealth Look’ Appearance Package for the Electric Air Sedan Compliments its High Performance DNA
Volkswagen Announces Pricing and Styling Updates for the 2023 ID.4 Electric SUV, Which is Being Assembled in Tennessee
Ford Unveils the F-150 Lightning Special Service Vehicle, a Fully Electric Pickup for Police Departments
Volkswagen Group China Unveils its ‘Flying Tiger’ Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) Passenger Aircraft Prototype
Volkswagen Starts Production of the Electric ID.4 SUV in Tennessee, Presents New Competition for Tesla, GM and Ford
Lucid Group Hires Key Executives that Formerly Worked for Mercedes-Benz and Tesla as it Prepares for Global Expansion and Production Ramp Up
- Stellantis and Samsung SDI to Invest up to $3 Billion to Build a EV Battery Factory in Indiana
- EV Startup VinFast Simultaneously Opens Six Retail Stores in California as it Prepares to Enter the U.S. Market
- EV Startup Fisker Inc. Hires BMW Exec as Senior VP of Manufacturing, Aims to Build One Million EVs a Year by 2027
- GM’s New Blazer EV Will Take on the Tesla Model Y Performance and Ford Mustang Mach E
- Polestar Announces Strategic Partnership With StoreDot, a Company Developing Rapid Charging Technology for EV Batteries
- Solar-Electric Car Developer Lightyear Announces Technical Partnership with Hypercar Manufacturer Koenigsegg
- Volkswagen Starts Production of the Electric ID.4 SUV in Tennessee, Presents New Competition for Tesla, GM and Ford
- Toyota and Stellantis to Partner on a Large Commercial Van for the European Market, Including an All-Electric Version
- Tesla is Now Offering the Model Y With New '4680' Battery Cells
- Hyundai Gets Serious About Electric Performance Cars, Shows off Two Concepts