Toyota, Panasonic to set up EV battery JV in 2020 - source
TOKYO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp and
Panasonic Corp are set to launch a joint venture next
year to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV) in an
effort to compete with Chinese rivals, a source familiar with
the matter said.
The joint venture, to be owned 51 percent by Toyota and the
rest by Panasonic, could also provide batteries to Toyota's EV
technology partners Mazda Corp and Subaru Corp
, the source said on Sunday.
The source declined to be identified because the talks on
the joint venture are private.
A joint venture would build on the agreement that the pair
announced in late 2017 on joint development of batteries with
higher energy density in a prismatic cell arrangement.
Toyota and Panasonic each said the plan to set up a joint
venture, first reported by the Nikkei business daily on Sunday,
was not what they have publicly announced.
A Toyota spokesman said the two companies have been working
on the battery partnership announced in 2017. Panasonic made the
same comment in a statement.
Under a planned joint venture, Panasonic would shift most of
its prismatic battery-related equipment and facilities in Japan
and China to the joint venture, while those producing batteries
for U.S. EV maker Tesla Inc will remain under the
company, the source said.
Panasonic already makes prismatic batteries for Toyota,
whereas for Tesla, it makes cylindrical batteries of a type
similar to those used in laptops.
The two companies may announce the joint venture plan as
early as this week, according to the source.
The battery joint venture will help Toyota achieve an annual
sales target of around 1 million zero-emission battery EVs and
fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) by 2030.
It will also give Panasonic cost and scale advantages in
battery production at a time when China's Contemporary Amperex
Technology has grown to be on par with the long-time industry
leader on the back of the rapidly growing home market.
(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Maki Shiraki; Additional
reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Michael Perry)
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