A joint battery venture of Toyota Motor and Panasonic said it will produce lithium-ion batteries for hybrid cars at a plant in Western Japan from 2022 to meet growing demand for electric vehicles (EV).
The production line at a Panasonic factory in Tokushima prefecture will have enough capacity to build batteries for around 500,000 vehicles a year, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions said in a statement.
“The global electric vehicle market is expected to continue growing rapidly,” the company said.
Prime Planet Energy is 51 percent owned by Toyota Motor with Panasonic holding the remaining stake. The venture reflects the drive of both companies to become bigger global players in an industry vital for the development of affordable EVs.
Panasonic, one of the world’s biggest EV battery makers, faces competition as a battery supplier to global automakers, including Tesla. The other leading players are South Korean and Chinese makers such as Samsung SDI, LG Chem and CATL.
Toyota, Japan’s biggest carmaker, last month said it expects annual sales of EV vehicles to reach 5.5 million in 2025.