The venture would be 51 per cent owned by Toyota, which has led in the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. The deal is expected to be announced this week and set up in 2020, following the announcement of a feasibility study in December 2017 (above).
The reports say that Panasonic would move most of its prismatic battery-related equipment and facilities in Japan and China to the joint venture for mass production of cells with 50 times the capacity of today's batteries. The venture would also develop solid state cells and supply Mazda, Daihatsu and Subaru. It would also look to supply Honda, which uses Panasonic's cells.
Panasonic already makes cylindrical cells for Tesla and is a key partner in Tesla's battery 'gigafactory' in Nevada, US, and this would remain separate.
The deal would make the 'gigaventure' one of the most significant global battery suppliers alongside BYD, LG CHem and Samsung SDI.