The move reflects Toyota‘s efforts to secure consistent supplies of high quality batteries amid the accelerating global shift of electric cars.
The batteries are the same size as Panasonic does for Tesla, but the composition is different, sources said, who declined to be identified as the matter is private.
Toyota Motor Corp. has started using the same type of battery that Panasonic Corp. designed for Tesla Inc. in some of its plug-in hybrids sold in China, sources familiar with the matter said.
Toyota is using Panasonic cylinder batteries in its new Hybrid Corolla and Levin sedans launched in China this year, one of the people said.
Japan’s largest automaker co-developed Panasonic’s batteries over a period of several years while expanding its range of electrified vehicles, according to one of the people who has direct knowledge of the material.
While Toyota declined to comment, a Panasonic spokesman said the company was unable to comment as a supplier.
The Nikkei newspaper reported the news earlier.
Toyota has favored square or prismatic batteries for its vehicles, and uses some of them manufactured by Panasonic for its hybrids. The two companies announced a joint venture in January to build electric vehicle batteries, merging the R&D and production forces of one of the world’s largest manufacturers with one of the world’s largest battery manufacturers.
Nikkei said Toyota is believed to have commissioned about 50,000 cylinder batteries, pushing the Panasonic battery factory in Osaka to full capacity.
Panasonic has been the exclusive battery cell supplier for Tesla, but the US electric vehicle maker is in advanced talks with South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd as it seeks to diversify its core component resources./Investing.com