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Toyota and Panasonic to Partner on Building Batteries

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As we’ve seen in recent months and years, there exist all sorts of partnership possibilities in the automotive sector. Recently Ford and Volkswagen culminated their long courtship with an agreement to develop certain specific products and technologies.

With the rise of the electric car and with research on autonomous driving exploding, even more possibilities for collaborations are opening up. The latest involves two giants in their respective fields, Toyota and Panasonic.

The two companies will work together to develop batteries for the industry as a whole. The newly created joint venture will be 51% owned by Toyota and focus on research and development, engineering, the manufacture of prismatic lithium-ion and solid-state batteries and future energy-storage technologies.

Toyota Camry hybrid
Photo: Toyota
Toyota Camry hybrid

“As vehicle electrification accelerates toward the solving of such environmental issues, batteries are a most-important element. However, numerous battery-related challenges must be tackled, including not only having advanced technological capabilities to address issues of cost, energy density, charging time, and safety, but also being able to ensure stable supply capacity and having effective recycling structures.”

- Toyota/Panasonic statement

Panasonic already works with Tesla in manufacturing cylindrical lithium-ion cells in the car manufacturer’s mega-factory in Nevada. Several auto manufacturers are committed to prismatic technologies, and Toyota and Panasonic hope to position themselves as industry leaders in their development and manufacture.

The venture would take shape in 2020, once the companies receive the requisite governmental approvals.

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