Toyota and Panasonic Join Forces to Develop Car Batteries

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To advance faster in the field of electric cars, Toyota and Panasonic are considering the joint development of batteries. For the two partners, who are already working together to supply batteries to Japanese-made hybrid cars, the aim is to strengthen synergies and share investments and R & D.

Kazuhiro Tsuga, President of Panasonic and Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor announced today that they have entered into talks to discuss the possibility for their companies to jointly develop batteries for electric vehicles.

One of the world’s leading suppliers, Panasonic is working with Tesla and wants to double its revenues from the automotive business by 2022. For its part Toyota intends to launch a 100% electric offer by 2020 and wants to stand out by its battery technology, which the company wants to be safer and more efficient than current lithium-ion batteries.

A formal alliance between Toyota, the world’s largest car manufacturer, and Panasonic, the largest manufacturer of electric batteries (29% market share for batteries used in plug-in and electric hybrid vehicles) makes perfect sense for the two japanese giants. Indeed, working together in the R & D and design phases would ultimately generate economies of scale for both sides, theoretically beneficial for all.

Mika Nishimura, an analyst at Credit Suisse, said in a research note: “Partnerships could also allow battery manufacturers to share research and development costs, as well as capital expenditure with automakers, if they are available.”

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The battery sector is a strategic goal for Panasonic. The goal, by the year 2022, is to double revenues from battery manufacturing for the automotive sector (now $ 22 billion). The company has already increased production capacity around the world with Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada, or new production lines in China and Japan.

Carl Frantz

Polyglot, humanitarian, Carl was born in Germany but raised in the USA. He writes mostly on tech, science and culture.