Published: Thu, December 14, 2017
IT | By Lester Massey

Toyota and Panasonic look into automotive battery business

Toyota and Panasonic look into automotive battery business

"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.

Speaking at the joint news conference, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said, "The auto industry faces many hurdles to developing next-generation batteries which are hard for automakers or battery makers to tackle on their own".

Toyota's battery requirements are likely to increase after it stated in 2016 it would add fully electric vehicles to its item line-up in the early 2020s, broadening a green-car method which has concentrated on plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles (FCV). President Akio Toyoda admits that Toyota has been "a little bit late" on EVs-having focused primarily on hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technology.

"Electrification is a major part of the once-a-century transformation taking place in the auto industry now", Toyoda told reporters in Tokyo.

Both Toyota and Panasonic are now inviting other companies to help form new battery standards as well.

The carmaker is open to other companies joining the partnership to speed the pace of development, he said.

In September, Toyota teamed up with smaller domestic rival Mazda to develop electric vehicles.

Toyota has plans to introduce electric models by 2020 in China and India, where it is partnering with Suzuki Motor Corp.

Toyota and Panasonic have agreed to study the feasibility of setting up a prismatic battery business to explore its suitability as a mass-market alternative technology in the automotive industry.

Electric-powered vehicles now represent around 15 percent of the roughly 10 million units Toyota sells annually - mostly hybrids such as its best-selling Prius.

The partnership ought to benefit Panasonic as well, who is also now the main battery supplier for Tesla, by helping it retain its industry leading position.

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