Toyota and Panasonic will start producing EV batteries in April

Igor Bonifacic
Contributing Writer
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Toyota and Panasonic have announced a new agreement to start jointly developing and manufacturing electric vehicle batteries. The two Japanese companies say they're creating a company called Prime Planet Energy and Solutions that will begin producing square-shaped prismatic cells on April 1st. The company will employ approximately 5,100 people initially.

As expected, Toyota is the majority owner of the company with a 51 percent stake. The two also confirmed that Prime Planet Energy would make batteries for both Toyota as well as a variety of other automakers. Moving forward, they plan to develop new types of power cells as well.

"Batteries -- as solutions for providing energy for automobiles and various other forms of mobility, and as solutions for various kinds of environmental issues -- are expected to fulfill a central role in society going forward -- a role that supports people's lives," Toyota and Panasonic said.

The pact makes a lot of sense for both companies. From Toyota's perspective, a steady supply of batteries will help the company as it attempts to ramp up EV production. For Panasonic, meanwhile, the agreement will let the company become an even more dominant player in the marketplace.