Toyota and Panasonic are considering jointly developing batteries for electric vehicles, a partnership that could help Panasonic extend its leadership in the automotive lithium-ion battery market.
The announcement has been made on an existing agreement under which Panasonic manufactures batteries for Toyota's hybrid vehicles, which run on gasoline and batteries.
Toyota said last year that it planned to add fully electric vehicles to its production line, in a departure from its previous strategy of "green" hybrid cars. The automaker has said it plans to start promoting fully electric vehicles in the early 2020s.
Panasonic is the leading supplier of batteries for electric vehicles for US luxury carmaker Tesla Inc. The electronics company has 29% of the market for batteries used in hybrid cars that are recharged with electric vehicles and current, Nomura data showed Research in the first half of 2017.
Panasonic considers batteries to be central to its plan to almost double automotive business revenues to 2.5 trillion yen (22.050 billion dollars) per year through March 2022. To that end, it has been expanding battery production capacity to global level.