Toyota, Panasonic Plan Batterymaking Venture

Toyota Motor Corp. and Panasonic Corp. expect to launch a venture in 2020 to make advanced “prismatic” batteries for electric cars, Reuters says.

The venture, to be 51% owned by Toyota and 49% by Panasonic, also may supply batteries to Toyota EV technologies partners Mazda and Subaru, a source tells the news service.

Panasonic and Toyota have collaborated on nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries since 1996. They produce such batteries through a joint venture called Primearth EV Energy Co.

In late 2017 the companies agreed to look for ways to reduce the cost of making next-generation flat-sided (prismatic) batteries, which can be packaged more densely than the cylindrical units Panasonic currently makes.