The battery joint venture, which includes Toyota Motor and Panasonic, today said it will manufacture lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles at a plant in Western Japan from 2022. The move is intended to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.
The production line at Panasonic’s Tokushima plant will have enough capacity to produce batteries for about 500,000 vehicles per year, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions said in a statement.
Founded this year, Prime Planet Energy is 51% owned by Toyota Motor and the remainder by Panasonic.
Panasonic, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electric vehicle batteries, faces tough competition as a supplier of batteries to global automakers including Tesla. Competitors are South Korean and Chinese manufacturers such as Samsung SDI, LG Chem and CATL.
Toyota, the largest car manufacturer in Japan, said last month that it aims to bring annual sales of electric vehicles to 5.5 million units in 2025 – five years earlier than originally planned.