Nikkei. Toyota Motor has increased its equity stake in Panasonic EV Energy from 40% to 60% by buying ¥1 billion (US$8.8 million) worth of new shares issued by Panasonic EV. The joint venture with the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. group now becomes a Toyota subsidiary.
Panasonic EV is the supplier of the NiMH battery packs for Toyota’s hybrids, as well as for Honda Civic and Insight hybrids.
Toyota hopes to accelerate development work and boost production capacity for battery packs amid growing global competition for hybrid models. Established in 1996, Panasonic EV is preparing to build a new factory in Kosai, Shizuoka Prefecture.