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Toyota to mass produce a wide range of EV batteries Leave a comment


Toyota is boosting its ability to mass-produce “a wide variety” of EV batteries following an agreement with Panasonic to take full control of Primearth EV Energy (PEVE). The move will help Toyota respond to the growing demand for batteries.

Toyota acquires Primearth EV Energy from Panasonic

The automaker agreed with Panasonic to make Primearth EV Energy a wholly owned subsidiary Tuesday.

Toyota said the acquisition will strengthen its ability to mass produce EV batteries. It is officially scheduled for later this month.

Primearth EV Energy was established in Dec 1996 as Panasonic EV Energy. Panasonic owned 60% of the joint venture, while Toyota represented the other 40%.

In 2005, Toyota increased its stake to 60% following its expansion into hybrids. Then, in June 2010, Toyota took 80.5% ownership, leaving Panasonic with 19.5%. Tuesday’s announcement will enable Toyota to take full control of the battery company.

Toyota-affiliated companies, including PEVE, Toyota Industries Corp, and Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (Toyota 51%, Panasonic 49%), mass produce batteries for hybrids. Prime Planet also makes batteries for EVs and PHEVs, while PEVE will begin to soon.

2024 Toyota bZ4X XLE FWD (Source: Toyota)

Toyota plans to continue working with these companies to develop and mass-produce EV batteries. The company is shifting to mass produce “a wide range” of electric vehicle batteries.

Toyota claims the move will help it “respond flexibly to growing battery demand.” Meanwhile, the automaker looks to make its electric vehicles more competitive with improved efficiency and range.

Akio Toyoda presents new EV concepts in 2021 (Source: Toyota)

Toyota to mass produce EV batteries

After discovering a “technological breakthrough” last June, Toyota claimed it was accelerating EV battery development plans.

Toyota revealed its EV battery roadmap last year, which included several different types. Due out in 2026, its next-gen batteries promise to have nearly 500 mi (800 km) WLTP driving range and 20-minute fast charging.

Toyota small bZ electric crossover (Source: Toyota)

Toyota’s sole global EV, the bZ4X, features up to 252 miles EPA or 310 miles (500 km) WLTP driving range.

The automaker plans to launch two versions of its next-gen EV battery. A Performance is expected to feature nearly 500 mi (800 km) WLTP driving range and 20-minute quick charge at 20% less cost than the bZ4X. This is the first version, due out in 2026.

Toyota EV battery roadmap (Source: Toyota)

Next out is the Popularisation version with over 372 mi (600 km) WLTP driving range, 30-minute quick charge at 40% less cost than its current EV. This version is due out between 2026 and 2027.

In 2027 or 2028, Toyota claims it will launch a high-performance EV battery with over 621 mi (1,000 km) WLTP driving range. It will also include 20-minute fast charge capabilities at 10% less cost than the next-gen batteries.

Lexus electrified sport concept (Source: Toyota)

Toyota has been promising for years to launch solid-state EV batteries. The company confirmed plans to launch solid-state EV batteries earlier this year with up to 750 mi (1,200 km) WLTP range as it looks to catch up to Tesla. However, Toyota expects production to be limited, even going into the end of the decade.

Electrek’s Take

Toyota has been promising to release next-gen EV batteries for years. Its first solid-state EV batteries were due out in 2021, then in 2022. Now, it looks like mass production won’t come until 2030.

The automaker sold over 100,000 EVs for the first time last year, but that’s still less than 1% of the over 11.2 million vehicles handed over.

Meanwhile, even rival Volkswagen sold 394,000 fully electric vehicles last year, accounting for 8% of sales. And that’s at the lower end. Many automakers are already achieving well into the double-digits, if not 100%, EV sales.

Toyota insists on maintaining its hybrid sales plans, including HEVs, PHEVs, EVs, and FCEVs. The move will likely set Toyota further behind the pack as others double down on fully electric tech.

Meanwhile, Toyota’s CEO believes EVs will only account for 30% of US new car sales in 2030. The automaker said its better positioned to buy credits rather than “waste” money on EVs.

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