Toyota, Panasonic Mull Working Together on Electric Batteries

The Toyota logo is shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles California U.S

The agreement for greater cooperation on batteries comes as competition among automakers to develop more EVs conforming to stricter regulations worldwide to cut vehicle emissions, increases.

Advancement of batteries is essential to Toyota's development of environmentally friendly vehicles including hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles. No word on whether Panasonic has a role in that initiative.

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Japanese auto giant Toyota said Wednesday it wanted half of its global sales to come from electric-powered vehicles by 2030, as the industry strives to meet toughening environmental regulations. "In order for Japan to survive this era of profound change with no natural resources, we must develop competitive batteries and establish systems for a stable supply", Toyoda said. "That's why we're looking to Panasonic and other companies to help us develop ever-better cars and batteries".

Of these, 4.5 million units would be gasoline-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles and one million units would be all electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles, said the CEO.

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In Panasonic, Toyota is partnering with the main battery supplier of major U.S. EV maker Tesla. With a 29% market share, Panasonic is the world's biggest supplier of batteries for plug-in hybrids and EVs, showed January-June data from Nomura Research. An advantage is that they can be made smaller and lighter than cylindrical battery packs but generally cost more and can overheat and swell.

Toyota and Panasonic have worked together since 1953 and Panasonic's traditional batteries are already widely used across the automotive industry in EVs, including in various hybrid models produced by Toyota. "We need to be able to develop new battery technologies in a prismatic format, and this would be hard on our own".

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