Toyota, Panasonic strike battery deal in threat to Tesla

The Toyota logo is shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles California U.S

The Toyota logo is shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles California U.S

Toyota Motor is thinking about making batteries for electric vehicles (EV) with Panasonic Corp, as it increases battery development to help fulfill its goal for green vehicles to comprise half of worldwide sales by 2030.

The two companies are already strongly focused on developing solutions to counter climate change, and in fact their commercial ties date back to 1953, with each pushing the other to push back the boundaries of technology and improve their manufacturing processes.

Toyota and Panasonic jointly announced an agreement to begin studying the feasibility of a joint automotive prismatic battery business.

After a brief partnership with Tesla in its early years, Toyota split up with the Silicon Valley company and declared that hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles would lead the automotive revolution, not battery-electric cars.

"Toyota and Panasonic target further advancements in automotive batteries, which are crucial technologies in electrified vehicles", the statement said.

In the summer, Toyota agreed to a collaborative effort with rival Mazda and auto parts supplier Denso to set up a production facility in the United States for the further development of core technologies in the manufacture of electric vehicles. "That's why we're looking to Panasonic and other companies to help us develop ever-better cars and batteries".

"Surviving this period of upheaval requires developing competitive batteries in Japan and establishing a reliable system to supply them", Toyota President Akio Toyoda told a news conference Wednesday.

"It would be hard for us to meet our 2030 goals offered the current pace of battery advancement".

"Our cylindrical batteries are the most widely used batteries in pure EVs at the moment", said Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga. Prominent South Korean battery makers such as LG Chem and Samsung SDI develop their products in-house and supply them to customers as-is. Production delays at Tesla are weighing on Panasonic's earnings, highlighting the risk of relying too heavily on one major buyer.

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