Pansonic has signed a key deal with Toyota Motor to set up a joint venture to make lithium ion prismatic battery cells for electric vehicles called Prime Planet Energy & Solutions. It will also make solid state battery cells and develop new battery technologies, or example using solid state materials from Ilika in the UK.
The deal comes just over a year since the two companies announced on January 22, 2019 that they had concluded a business integration contract and a joint-venture contract toward the establishment of a new company.
The move to prismatic battery cells is key, compared to the current cylindrical lithium ion cells that Panasoic for example builds for Tesla’s electric cars.
The joint venture says it will develop highly competitive, cost-effective batteries for Toyota and also supply all customers on the open market, although there are three directors from Toyota and two from Panasonic. The venture will have 5,100 staff, with 2,400 at a manufacturing subsidiary in China and will start operaton on 1st April 2020.