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Toyota, Panasonic Boost Alliance to Develop EV Batteries

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Dec. 13, 2017—Toyota Motor and Panasonic announced Wednesday that they will strengthen their alliance for developing batteries used in environmentally friendly cars, targeting the market for all-electric vehicles, according to Japan Times.

“Everyone agrees that batteries will be a significant core component of electrified vehicles,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said at the news conference in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. “Our cooperation represents the intention of two Japan-born companies to lead the next era of electrified cars.”

Toyoda said the leading Japanese automaker will aim to sell a total of 5.5 million next-generation green vehicles—including 4.5 million hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrids and 1 million cars with electric vehicle and fuel cell technologies—by 2030, to reach 50 percent of all sales in that year.

The company expects to sell 1.47 million HVs and PHVs during this calendar year.

The two Japanese manufacturing giants will work together and seek ways to develop safer, high-capacity batteries as well as methods to make recycling of used batteries possible.

The move may help boost efforts by domestic carmakers to catch up with foreign rivals already making a shift toward all-electric cars.

Panasonic has already worked in partnership with Toyota to supply lithium-ion batteries used in Toyota’s hybrid vehicles, including the Prius and Aqua models.

The electronics giant has also supplied U.S. carmaker Tesla Inc. with batteries for electric vehicles, increasing its presence in the auto industry.

Despite a global shift toward electric vehicles, Toyota has been reluctant to develop all-electric cars, citing the vehicles’ relatively short cruising distance and the deterioration of their battery capacities over time. Instead, the company has focused on developing hybrid cars and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

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