Panasonic Corp and Toyota Motor Corp are set to launch a joint venture in 2020. The partnership aims to make batteries for electric vehicles. It leverages the heft of one of the largest automakers and battery makers in the world to expand their push on innovation.
In a joint statement that was released this morning, the firms disclosed that Toyota will own a majority stake for the joint venture with a stake of 51 percent, while Panasonic will take up the remainder, confirming previous reports.
The sai venture will build on an earlier partnership between the two firms in 2017. The said tie-up targeted manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries. It is expected that the new alliance will make batteries for electric vehicles more affordable, thus bringing down the prices of electric cars.
It reflects the plan of the Japanese firms to become a bigger global player in the battery industry, which is essential for the development of affordable electric vehicles.
It will also operate alongside an existing joint venture between the two firms, which makes batteries that are mainly used in petrol-hybrid vehicles.
Panasonic said that it will be using its battery-manufacturing capabilities in both China and Japan for the venture, while both will be sharing a part of their current pool of engineers and equipment. A total of 3,500 employees will be transferred for the venture.
The amount of investment that is being plugged into the said venture has yet to be decided.
The companies said that it is intended that the batteries that will be produced will be sold to various car manufacturers. Currently, Panasonic holds the exclusive contract on producing the battery cells of Tesla.
Reports that were released before the announcement by the Nikkei during the previous week suggested that the deal will initially target a rise in production and triple the annual electric vehicle sales of Toyota to reach 5.5 million by 2030.