Toyota Motor Corp has started the use of same type of battery in some of its plug-in hybrid cars it is selling in China, which has been designed to be used in Tesla Inc vehicles by Panasonic Corp, reported Reuters, citing sources familiar with the matter said.
Toyota has launched new Levin and Corolla plug-in hybrid sedans in China this year and is using Panasonic’s cylindrical batteries in those new models, according to one of the sources.
Size of the batteries that Toyota has been using in its cars is the same as the size of those batteries that Panasonic is making for Tesla, but the composition of both batteries differs with that of each others, said the sources, who requested the anonymity because of the private nature of the matter.
In the midst when automaker around the world are increasingly shifting to electric powered cars, the move of using Panasonic’s batteries highlights the Toyota’s efforts to get its hands on to the stable supply of high-quality batteries.
In plans of expanding its electrified vehicle lineup, for several years, Japan’s biggest automaker remained collaborating with Panasonic to jointly develop the batteries, said a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
To be used in its vehicles, Toyota favors square or rectangular shaped batteries and uses some Panasonic-manufactured batteries in its hybrid cars. One of the world’s largest automakers and one of the largest battery makers in January announced a joint venture to manufacture electric vehicle (EV) batteries by joining forces in R&D and manufacturing resources.
For battery supply, Toyota is also in partnership with China’s BYD Co Ltd, an EV maker, and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL).
Toyota is believed to place an order of about 50,000 of cylindrical batteries that pushed Panasonic’s battery plant in Osaka to work on its full production capacity, the Nikkei said, who reported the news earlier.