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Mon, 01/21/2019 - 00:37
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Toyota, Panasonic to Set Up Electric Vehicle Battery JV

Tokyo, Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)--Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> and Panasonic Corp. <6752> will jointly set up a new company in 2020 to produce batteries for electric vehicles, informed sources said Sunday. The joint venture, expected to be held 51 pct by Toyota and the remainder by Panasonic, will be announced as early as this week, according to the sources. The two companies aim to raise cost competitiveness and strengthen the development of next-generation technologies for automotive batteries amid growing competition from Chinese and South Korean manufacturers. Panasonic plans to transfer five automotive battery plants, including in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, and Dalian, China, to the new company. The factory manufacturing batteries for U.S. automaker Tesla Inc., a large customer, will be excluded, however. In the early 2020s, the joint venture will fully start mass production of batteries for electric vehicles, which have capacities about 50 times larger than those for hybrid vehicles, the sources said. The two companies hope to supply batteries to Daihatsu Motor Co., a Toyota subsidiary, business partners Mazda Motor Corp. <7261> and Subaru Corp. <7270>, and other automakers. The new company will also engage in the development of next-generation batteries, including full solid-state batteries, which feature a large capacity and a high level of safety. In December 2017, Toyota and Panasonic, which had already formed a partnership on batteries for hybrid vehicles, said they were considering a tie-up on batteries for electric vehicles. Global competition in the automotive battery market has intensified, with Panasonic replaced by a Chinese manufacturer as the world's largest maker in 2017. END