Toyota, Panasonic to Set Up Electric Vehicle Battery JV

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)--Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> and Panasonic Corp. <6752> will jointly set up a new company in 2020 to produce batteries for electric vehicles, informed sources said Sunday.

The joint venture, expected to be held 51 pct by Toyota and the remainder by Panasonic, will be announced as early as this week, according to the sources.

The two companies aim to raise cost competitiveness and strengthen the development of next-generation technologies for automotive batteries amid growing competition from Chinese and South Korean manufacturers.

Panasonic plans to transfer five automotive battery plants, including in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, and Dalian, China, to the new company. The factory manufacturing batteries for U.S. automaker Tesla Inc., a large customer, will be excluded, however.

In the early 2020s, the joint venture will fully start mass production of batteries for electric vehicles, which have capacities about 50 times larger than those for hybrid vehicles, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press