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Toyota and Panasonic form new EV battery development project

By Ramla Soni

Prime Planet Energy and Solutions will develop square-shaped batteries that will be available to any automaker from April

Toyota Motor Corp and Panasonic Corp have set up a joint venture that will begin developing electric vehicle (EV) batteries as the Japanese companies prepare for an expected surge in demand.

The new company, called Prime Planet Energy and Solutions, will develop square-shaped batteries that will be available to any automaker from April.

The new company will have more than 5,000 employees, with Toyota owning 51 per cent and Panasonic holding the remainder, both companies stated.

The venture is said to reflect the aim of the Japanese companies to become bigger global players in the automotive battery industry, which is vital for the development of affordable EVs.

“Batteries - as solutions for providing energy for automobiles and various other forms of mobility, and as solutions for various kinds of environmental issues - are expected to fulfil a central role in society going forward,” the companies said in the statement.

Panasonic has been the only supplier of cylindrical batteries for US EV maker Tesla, but has been looking to expand its list of customers by improving development of the prismatic batteries.

Last month Tesla announced that South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd and China’s CATL would also provide them with batteries.

Toyota aims to get half of its sales from electrified vehicles by 2025.

The two Japanese companies have been working on battery research since the 1990’s when they set up a joint venture to make hybrid car batteries, called Primearth EV Energy.

FURTHER READING: Volkswagen to produce 1.5m EVs by 2025

FURTHER READING: BYD and Toyota join forces to drive forward electric vehicle development

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