Toyota Joins Forces With Panasonic to Jointly Develop EV Batteries

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【Summary】The joint partnership will see Toyota and Panasonic develop and manufacture prismatic lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, which will also be available for other automakers to purchase.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Mar 17, 2020 10:00 AM PT
Toyota Joins Forces With Panasonic to Jointly Develop EV Batteries

Toyota was one of the first automakers to introduce a mass-market electrified vehicle with the Prius, but it's been one of the slowest to adopt a fully electric vehicle. Before Toyota comes out with an electric vehicle, the Japanese automaker has entered into a partnership to build one of the most crucial components in an electric car: batteries.

Becoming A Global Powerhouse

According to Reuters, Toyota and Panasonic have entered into a joint venture that will see the two develop and manufacture prismatic lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The two companies will create Prime Planet Energy and Solutions and begin working on batteries on April 1. Toyota will own 51 percent of the company, while Panasonic will own the other 49 percent.

Since Toyota isn't really interested in electric vehicles and Panasonic is more of a tech company, the batteries that Prime Planet Energy and Solutions develop will be available for other companies and manufacturers to purchase. The goal of the two companies, as the outlet points out, is to become more dominant players on a global scale. The automotive industry is moving toward electric cars, so the two see this is a great way to solidify their roles and bring in some extra funds in the future.

"Batteries – as solutions for providing energy for automobiles and various other forms of mobility, and as solutions for various kinds of environmental issues – are expected to fulfill a central role in society going forward," said the companies in a statement.

Why The Partnership Makes Sense

Panasonic brings a lot of its expertise to the table. The company already supply electric-vehicle batteries to Tesla and has been looking to expand its roster of companies for some time. While Toyota isn't looking to fully electric cars, the automaker does have quite a few hybrids and plug-in hybrids in its lineup. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids still require battery packs with lithium-ion batteries, so it's not like it won't use them.

Additionally, Panasonic and Toyota will work together on solid-state batteries, which are the unicorn of electric vehicles. Individuals with knowledge of electric cars believe that solid-state batteries will revolutionize electric vehicles. They're expected to be much more stable than lithium-ion batteries, while having more energy density. 

Solid-state batteries are expected to provide EVs with more range, better performance, and quicker recharge times. In other words, solid-state batteries will result in much better electric vehicles.

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