Get Your Batteries From Us: Toyota, Panasonic Announce Joint Venture

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Already a pioneer in hybrid drive technology, Toyota’s recent push towards fully electric cars has birthed a joint venture with one of the world’s premier battery makers, potentially opening up a massive revenue stream for the automaker.

On Tuesday, the company announced the creation of a joint venture with Panasonic to supply other automakers with a “stable supply of competitive batteries.”

Pending various approvals, the two companies hope to have the operation up and running by the end of 2020. Toyota’s stake is 51 percent; Panasonic, 49 percent. The two companies first announced their intention to explore a joint venture in late 2017.

“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,” the companies stated in a joint release.

“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.”

Batteries built by the JV will still carry the Panasonic logo. In rationalizing the effort, the companies stated that the current business environment surrounding EVs “is one in which independent efforts by battery manufacturers or automobile manufacturers are not enough for solving the issues concerned.”

Of course, this isn’t the first Toyota-Panasonic battery venture. Back in 1996, the two companies teamed up for the production of nickel-metal hydride battery packs for use in hybrid vehicles, with the company eventually becoming today’s Primearth EV Energy. While Toyota was the main user of said batteries, Honda and General Motors also sourced battery packs from the Japanese supplier.

[Image: © 2018 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Brn Brn on Jan 22, 2019

    Toyota has a history of investing in companies so they can control supplies to their competition. I don't see this as being any different.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Jan 23, 2019

    Tesla is a no. Nissan is a no. GM is a no. That leaves a long list of fringe players (for now) in a market where what, 1% of vehicles sold are EVs? This seems pretty darn DOA.

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.