Toyota Looking to Expand Partnership with Panasonic for EV Batteries

Toyota and Panasonic have signed an agreement that could result in the development of a prismastic battery for electric vehicles.

The two companies are looking into jointly developing batteries for electric vehicles, with prismatic units being rectangular in shape instead of cylindrical. The partnership would build on an existing agreement that has Panasonic currently supplying batteries for Toyota’s hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Last year, Toyota revealed it would add fully-electric vehicles to its lineup, shifting away from its previous goal of focusing on plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Toyota has since partnered with Mazda and Denso to accelerate development of EV parts and is also investing into solid-state batteries. The Japanese automaker hopes to incorporate solid-state batteries into its vehicles by the early 2020s, promising to offer shorter charge times and longer driving ranges compared to the current-generation lithium-ion batteries.

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Panasonic is currently the world’s largest supplier of electric vehicle batteries and is the main battery supplier for Tesla. The company recently started mass production of battery cells at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada and will be opening a new plant in Dalian, China. Production lines are also being added in Japan.

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