Toyota, Panasonic Join Forces to Build Prismatic Batteries
Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic secured a joint venture agreement that will allow both companies to produce prismatic batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The joint venture, which is set to launch next year pending approval of the competition-law authorities, will help both companies compete with their Chinese rivals.
Toyota’s EV technology partners Mazda and Subaru could also benefit from the joint venture, sources say.
Below are some of the stipulations of the agreement:
- Toyota and Panasonic will establish a joint venture (pending approval from the competition-law authorities in the countries and regions concerned) by the end of 2020.
- The ratio of equity participation in the joint venture will be 51 percent for Toyota and 49 percent for Panasonic.
- 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.
- 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.
- The total number of employees from both companies related to operations subject to transfer to the joint venture is 3,500 (as of the end of December 2018).
- Products produced by the joint venture will be sold to various automakers through, in principle, Panasonic.
When enacted, the deal will help Toyota achieve its 1 million battery sales target by 2030. As for the benefits to Panasonic, it will give the electronics maker cost and scale advantages in battery production while reducing its heavy reliance on an unnamed American EV maker prone to production delays.