Panasonic and Toyota Motor Corporation have decided to collaborate on manufacturing batteries for hybrid cars through their joint venture in order to respond to the battery industries from South Korea and China.
According to the industry on October 11, the two companies plan to manufacture 500,000 hybrid batteries annually starting from next year through their joint venture.
Along with hybrid battery cells, the joint venture will also manufacture high-performance battery cells for electric vehicles. The two companies will strengthen their lineup of batteries that range from Panasonic’s cylindrical battery to all-solid-state battery.
They are working on development of next-generation batteries in order to strengthen their competitive edge in the global electric vehicle market. Their primal goal is to improve battery performance and reduce manufacturing cost as much as possible in order to lower prices of electric vehicles ultimately. Panasonic and Toyota are the top battery manufacturer and automotive manufacturer respectively in Japan. They are pushing for development of next-generation batteries in order to gain an upper hand in the global electric vehicle market.

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<President Akio Toyoda (left) of Toyota Motor Corporation and President Kazuhiro Tsuga of Panasonic>

However, Panasonic is being threatened by LG Chem and CATL in the global battery market. Although Panasonic is still supplying its cylindrical batteries to Tesla, LG Chem and CATL have also started supplying their batteries to Tesla as well starting from this year.
LG Chem has actually become the main battery supplier of Tesla by supplying batteries with drastically improved energy density for Model 3. CATL also started supplying LFP batteries to Tesla starting from this month threatening the position that Panasonic is in even more.
Because Tesla plans to manufacture its own battery cells starting from 2022, it will be inevitable that demands for multinational battery manufacturers will be much lower than what they are now. As a result, Panasonic needs to expand its list of customers that will consistently ask for batteries from Panasonic.
A representative for the industry said that Panasonic decided to collaborate with Toyota in order to secure a wider supply network since it needs to secure long-term customers.
Staff Reporter Kim, Jiwoong |