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Toyota and Panasonic link up on electric vehicle batteries

Toyota and Panasonic presidents
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.