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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
get your batteries from us toyota panasonic announce joint venture

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]

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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.

  • Tassos While Acura was the first Japanese attempt to sell 'luxury' (or "premium") vehicles in the US market, and despite its original good success in the near-luxury segment with the Legend and the far smaller and less expensive Itegra (a glorified Civic), it later lost its momentum and offered a series of underwhelming vehicles. It sure is not a LUXURY maker, and as long as it offers FWD or AWD and NOT RWD vehicles, it will never be taken seriously as a serious sports cars maker. Infiniti is much worse, and if both of them go under, few will notice. Lexus was more successful, offering pimped up TOyotas for 10,000s more, but there is NO vehicle in their lineup, esp now that they scewed up the only serious entry (the LS), that I would care to consider. AND I say all this as a very satisfied owner of 5-speed Honda coupes and hatchbacks (a 1991 Civic hatch and a 1990 Accord Coupe).
  • Mike Beranek Yet another reason to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles charged with energy from wind & solar with modern, non-Monty Burns nuclear as a backup.
  • Tassos The cap the timid Western Europeans agreed to, a HIGH $60, which still lets Putin make a TON of billions of $, was way too HIGH. Ukraine correctly complained about this, it had asked for a $20 cap, I believe.
  • FreedMike "...I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath until fuel prices drop."Regular is $2.87 at my local gas station today. Considering that it was over four bucks this summer, I'd call that a drop. And it happened with the war still going on, the GOP not taking over Congress, Dark Brandon in the White House, and the Theoretical Keystone Pipeline still being canned. Imagine that. And I wonder if poor Slavuta has broken out the "will rap for food" sign yet.
  • THX1136 I would imagine the caps will have minimal impact. Putin is going to do what he wants to do regardless of how the citizens of his country fare.