Toyota and Panasonic have just announced that they will be launching a new joint venture in order to make electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and it is set to begin operations by the end of 2020. Once established, Toyota will be owning 51 percent of the joint venture while Panasonic will own the remaining 49 percent, the companies said in a joint statement.
"Together with Panasonic, we want to hone our competitiveness in batteries, which represents one of the core technologies of electrified vehicles. By contributing to the popularization 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,” said Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi.
The joint venture will allow both Toyota and Panasonic to do research, develop, engineer, and produce lithium-ion batteries, solid state batteries and even 'next-generation' batteries. At the same time, the two will also be focusing on improving battery charging time, safety, and costs, all of which are vital to the development of future EVs.
With the creation of the joint venture, Toyota and Panasonic will pool together their knowledge in their respective fields together with equipment, and personnel in order to speed up the production, engineering and manufacturing of these batteries. According to the statement, a total of 3,500 employees will be transferred from both companies into the new venture.
Batteries produced by the joint venture will not be made exclusive to both companies though. Instead, it will be also sold to other automakers as well through Panasonic.
"Uniting with Toyota's battery and production-engineering technologies provides us an excellent opportunity for being able to evolve our automotive prismatic batteries, which have an established track record of performance and safety, faster than ever. Through the electrification of vehicles, we want to accelerate our contribution to the realization of a society of mobility that is kind to the environment," said Panasonic Senior Managing Executive Officer Masahisa Shibata.