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Toyota and Panasonic will develop electric car batteries together

Both companies have created a new joint venture effort to supply EV batteries in the future.

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2017 Toyota Prius Prime charging port

As the industry focuses on EVs, batteries are becoming increasingly important.

Toyota

Toyota and Panasonic have tied the knot via a new joint venture company that will not only supply, but develop electric car batteries in the near future. The official announcement follows a year of deliberations over a possible joint venture.

According to the Japanese automaker on Monday, Prime Planet Energy and Solutions will begin operations on April 1 as a joint venture business between Toyota and the Japanese battery maker. Toyota will own 51% of the company, while Panasonic will hold the other 49%.

Both companies will pour their resources to develop cost-effective and safe batteries. Specifically, the joint venture will focus on prismatic lithium-ion batteries, which continue to become more popular with automakers. Compared to cylindrical batteries, prismatic batteries are far easier to connect for packaging purposes. As the name implies, the shape invokes a prism.

Toyota won't keep all the batteries for itself, though. The new company will supply batteries to future customers aside from Toyota, according to the automaker. On the research and development side, the joint venture will work on the holy grail of EV technology: solid-state batteries.

Solid-state units are far more stable than lithium-ion batteries and provide more energy density. Automakers believe these batteries will truly change how EVs operate with regards to charging, range and performance. Yet, if engineers find a new battery principle that shows promise, Prime Planet Energy and Solutions will chase that, too.

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