Toyota, Panasonic Mull Working Together on Electric Batteries

Panasonic shares rise on news of Toyota battery partnership

The largest supplier of electric-car batteries and Toyota together are exploring the development of prismatic cells, and the collaboration will include solid-state batteries, the two companies said at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.

This morning in metals news, Toyota and Panasonic are considering working together on developing electric vehicle batteries, U.S. Steel did not test for toxic materials after a chemical spill into Lake Michigan in October and U.S. raw steel production last week was up 4.3% compared with the same week in 2016.

The announcement builds upon an existing agreement with Panasonic, the global market leader in automotive lithium-ion batteries, which is already behind the batteries found in Toyota's hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. President Akio Toyoda admits that Toyota has been "a little bit late" on EVs-having focused primarily on hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technology. 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 plans to introduce electric models by 2020 in China and India, where its partnering with Suzuki Motor Corp.

Toyoda stated the automaker's yearly sales target for petrol-electric and plug-in hybrids is 4.5 million vehicles by 2030, and 1.0 million units for EVs and FCVs. By 2030, Toyota aims to almost quadruple annual sales of electrified vehicles - hybrids, electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles - to 5.5 million vehicles, or half its projected global sales total.

For its part, Panasonic has made developing lithium-ion batteries for automobiles one its principal activities; several automakers around the world already use the company's products in their vehicles.

"Time will tell if the study results in a. cell which is better and cheaper than that which Panasonic provides Tesla with today", Ellinghorst said.

Panasonic is the main EV battery supplier for luxury US vehicle maker Tesla Inc. Toyota controls 80.5 percent of the entity, with Panasonic owning the remainder.

The strategy to co-operate more closely on batteries comes as automakers contend to develop more EVs in compliance with tightening policies worldwide to reduce vehicle emissions. Battery prices have plummeted nearly 80 percent since 2010, and will drop by more than half again by 2026, bringing electric cars to price parity with their gasoline-burning cousins, BNEF predicts.

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