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Toyota and Panasonic team up to advance solid-state battery development

The companies have formed Prime Planet Energy & Solutions which will focus on the development and manufacture of prismatic lithium-ion batteries, as well as solid-state and “next-generation” batteries

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Car battery, Toyota, Panasonic

Car manufacturer Toyota has taken the controlling stake in a joint venture with electronics company Panasonic to make car batteries.

The Japan-based companies have formed Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, which will take on 5,100 employees, including 2,400 in China. It will focus on the development and manufacture of prismatic lithium-ion batteries, as well as solid-state and “next-generation” batteries.

GlobalData’s power technology writer, Matthew Farmer, says: “This joint venture has been in development since 2017, and was more recently discussed in January 2019. It will begin operations from April, with a total listed assets of $914,700 (¥100M).”

GlobalData’s director analyst of automotive product development Calum MacRae adds:

“This confirms Toyota is fully entering the pure-electric vehicle ring. While it has dabbled before, this signifies it is entering with both feet.

“Panasonic has been its long-term partner for NiMH batteries for its hybrid cars through a joint venture called Primearth Energy.

“Additionally, this joint venture with Toyota has categorically stated its interest in developing solid-state batteries. Just this week Lexus announced its LF30 concept will use solid-state batteries.

“Solid state is a bit of a holy grail for the industry – promising greater storage, faster charging times, enhanced fire safety and reduced production costs. It effectively removes every barrier the market and industry sees for mass adoption of pure electric vehicles.”

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