Jan 22, 2019

Toyota and Panasonic link up on electric vehicle batteries

President of Toyota Motor Akio Toyoda (L) and President of Panasonic Kazuhiro Tsuga (R). Photo: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

Toyota and Panasonic announced Tuesday that they've inked a deal for establishing a joint venture to develop electric vehicle batteries.

Why it matters: It's the latest sign of companies in the automotive and battery space pooling resources to get ahead in the increasingly competitive EV market.

  • "The business environment is one in which independent efforts by battery manufacturers or automobile manufacturers are not enough for solving the issues concerned," the companies said in a joint statement.

The intrigue: Via the Associated Press, "Toyota, Japan's No. 1 automaker, is thought to have fallen behind rival Nissan Motor Co. in pioneering electric vehicles, and has been trying to catch up in recent years."

Where it stands: The corporate giants, which did not disclose investment amounts, said they're setting up a JV by the end of next year with a 51% stake for Toyota and 49% for Panasonic. They added...

  • It will cover R&D, product engineering, manufacturing, and more.
  • It will explore both advances in existing technology as well as development of solid-state and "next generation" tech.
  • Products developed through the venture will likely be sold to "various automakers" through Panasonic.

Of note: As Reuters points out here, the JV builds on a partnership the companies first established in late 2017.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,139,207 — Total deaths: 60,874 — Total recoveries: 233,807Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 278,537 — Total deaths: 7,163 — Total recoveries: 9,920Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state has opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: A pivotal Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Military updates: Senators call for independent investigation into the firing of Navy captain of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. The U.S. military is struggling to find new recruits as enlistment stations are shut down.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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The renaissance of the American family

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It used to be scarce and hard-earned, but suddenly family time is abundant in the era of shelter-in-place.

Why it matters: For the first time since the early 19th century, many parents and kids — and even grandchildren — are all under the same roof round-the-clock. And if past periods of emergency are any guide, this enforced togetherness could deepen our relationships for years to come.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health

Biden says he's starting VP search this month

Joe Biden. Photo: Scott Olson / Staff

Joe Biden said he's spoken to Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama about selecting a running mate — and that he wants to build "a bench of younger, really qualified people" who can lead the nation over the course of the next four presidential cycles.

Driving the news: Biden spoke about the state of the 2020 race during a virtual fundraiser on Friday night that was opened to pooled coverage.