According to Reuters, Toyota and Panasonic are considering joining forcing in developing electric batteries for vehicles. The partnership could help Japanese automakers compete more effectively with foreign companies.
"The auto industry faces many hurdles to developing next-generation batteries which are hard for automakers or battery makers to tackle on their own", he added.
The collaboration will also further develop next-generation solid-state batteries, as that technology picks up pace in several areas of the industry due to a potential higher capacity that would be suited to longer-range electric vehicles. Automakers outside of Japan have established a significant lead when it comes to using advanced battery technology to power new vehicles.
The Japanese partners have not revealed how the batteries will be manufactured, but this is widely expected to be a collaborative effort as well.
The companies said the agreement would help find solutions to pressing societal issues such as global warming, air pollution, the depletion of natural resources and energy security. Panasonic, the global market leader for automotive lithium-ion batteries, already works with Toyota on hybrid vehicles.
"By 2030, we aim to have 50 percent or more of our total vehicle sales coming from electric-powered vehicles, such as hybrid, plug-in hybrid, EV and FCV (fuel-cell vehicle)", announced President Akio Toyoda in a rare public appearance.
Toyota alone is targeting the sale of 4.5 million hybrid vehicles together with 1.0 million electric and fuel cell cars by 2030.
Both Toyota and Panasonic are now inviting other companies to help form new battery standards as well. Production delays at Tesla are weighing on Panasonic's earnings, highlighting the risk of relying too heavily on one major buyer.