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Nikkei: Toyota and Panasonic to set up JV for production of EV batteries and development of next-gen systems

The Nikkei said it had learned that Toyota Motor and Panasonic will set up a joint venture in 2020 to manufacture EV batteries, with a focus on cost and scale and an eye toward rising Chinese players.

The Nikkei reported that the JV will be announced as soon as this week. Toyota reportedly will hold 51% of the venture. Panasonic, with the other 49%, will shift five automotive battery production facilities in Japan and China to the new company.

The Nikkei said that Panasonic’s plant operated in partnership with Tesla will not be included.

The plan is to supply to Mazda Motor, a Toyota partner on electric car technology, as well as Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu Motor and Subaru. The joint venture will encourage Honda Motor, which uses Panasonic batteries in hybrid vehicles, to adopt the new cells.

Panasonic and Toyota will also team up to develop next-generation batteries, an undertaking that requires enormous cash outlays and significant technical expertise. Projects will include solid-state lithium batteries, which have a high capacity—a must for improving the range of electric cars—and are safer than existing options. The two companies had reached a deal in 2017 to explore a tie-up in the field.

Comments

HarveyD

This new JV, with battery plants in Japan and China and very large in house customers, may be able to compete with rising Chinese players.

Where will this leave So-Korea, EU and USA battery manufacturers?

Lad

I have a riding garden tractor I converted to 4 x 12 volt 100 amp Pb batteries eight years ago; been waiting for Lithium batteries to come down in cost to improve the performance; still don't see it happening any time soon. However, I am encouraged that Toyota is involved...when Toyota offers BEVs in their showrooms, you will know the transition to clean energy is well underway.

HarveyD

Yes Lad; this may be the right move by Toyota to progressively move/transition to high quality-affordable extended range, quick charge BEVs by 2025 or so?

To do that, high quality EV batteries must fall close to $100/kWh or below. Will that happen by 2025?

sd

Maybe Toyota will finally catch on and figure out that fuel cells are not the future.

yoatmon

@ sd
I wouldn't state that so categorically in general. FCs , in MHO, are not suited for mobility purposes but their application e. g. for home heating (combination of heating and power production) is justifiable. The overall efficiency for H2 (conversion, storage and final usage) is horribly low; absolutely no comparison to highly efficient batteries.
H2 can be stored reliably only when synthesized to Methane. FCs directly fuelled with Methane have, among other problems, lower efficiency than when fuelled with H2 directly. IOW it is recommendable to extract the H2 from the synthesized Methane via reformer to feed the FC.

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