Foremost Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer, Toyota says it is partnering with Panasonic, a Japanese multinational electronics firm in a new joint venture that will not only supply, but also develop electric car batteries in the near future. This follows a year of deliberations over a possible joint venture.
According to the Japanese automaker, Prime Planet Energy and Solutions will begin operations on April 1, 2020, as a joint venture business between Toyota and the Japanese battery maker.
Although, both companies are expected to pour their resources to develop cost-effective and safe batteries, Toyota will own 51% of the company, while Panasonic will hold the other 49%.
Specifically, the joint venture will focus on prismatic lithium-ion batteries, which continue to become more popular with automakers. Compared to cylindrical batteries, prismatic batteries (as the name implies, has the shape of a prism) are far easier to connect for packaging purposes.
At completion, Toyota won’t keep all the batteries for itself. According to the automaker, the new company will supply batteries to future customers aside from Toyota.
On the research and development side, the joint venture is projected to work on the holy grail of EV technology: solid-state batteries.