Toyota to take full control of Panasonic battery JV

Firm says move will strengthen its battery mass-production capabilities

Toyota to take full control of Panasonic battery JV
Toyota is promising 30 BEV models on sale by 2030

Japanese OEM Toyota will take over full control of Primearth EV, a joint venture battery company that it operates with Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic.

Toyota says Primearth EV will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the automaker "in order to strengthen its capabilities in mass-producing automotive batteries."

The acquisition is scheduled to take place in late March. Toyota currently owns 80.5pc of Primearth EV, and will now take over the remaining 19.5pc stake from Panasonic.

Primearth EV was founded in 1996 as a joint operation between Toyota and Panasonic and has manufactured lithium-ion batteries for EVs since 2011.

Toyota, long described as an BEV laggard, has made a number of announcements about future battery capacity in the last year, including plans for solid state batteries. The firm has drawn some criticism for this, having not yet installed capacity for present-day commercial EV batteries.

Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda has claimed that BEV penetration will never exceed 30pc globally, while also continuing to talk up the prospects of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

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Toyota recently reported that only 3pc of its European sales were BEVs in 2024, amounting to just over 30,000 units. Despite this, the firm says it is targeting 250,000 BEV sales per year in Europe by 2035.

But Toyota now says that the full takeover of Primearth EV will bolster the firm's strategy to build a diversified battery portfolio.

"In addition to HEV batteries, PEVE plans to begin producing batteries for BEVs and PHEVs. The company's shift into mass-producing a wide variety of electric vehicle batteries will enable Toyota to respond flexibly to growing battery demand, while also helping to further boost mass-production competitiveness," a Toyota statement says.

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