JAPAN’S Panasonic Holdings and Subaru are set to unveil plans for an electric vehicle battery alliance soon, just days before both companies report first-quarter profits.
Panasonic, which provides some of Tesla’s EV batteries, is looking to expand its worldwide market share as Chinese and South Korean competitors expand their presence. Panasonic made a similar agreement with Mazda Motor in June, with sales set to begin in the second part of the decade.
Panasonic Energy’s battery unit announced in June that it aimed for 2.5 trillion yen (RM80 billion) in revenue from in-vehicle batteries in the year ending March 2031, which is 3.8 times the number for the year ending March 2023.
Subaru is striving to electrify its inventory, with ambitions to launch three electric SUV models by the end of 2026.
Subaru produced 874,000 automobiles in the fiscal year 2023 and anticipates producing over a million in the fiscal year 2024. Subaru does not forecast exact production or sales statistics after that, but it does intend to sell 200,000 EVs globally by 2026.
The capacity of Panasonic’s new 4680 lithium-ion battery cells, which are expected to start shipping in 2024, is around five times greater than that of the company’s older 2170 cells.
According to Tokyo-based Techno Systems Research, Panasonic was the fourth-largest player in the globe with a 7.7% market share of car batteries by capacity sold in 2022. Due to competition from rivals like Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) in China, it dropped one spot from 2021.
Panasonic intends to increase manufacturing capacity, primarily in North America, where it is already developing a factory in Kansas and operating a battery plant with Tesla in the U.S. state of Nevada. By the conclusion of the fiscal year in March 2024, Panasonic Energy says it will decide whether to build a third, in either the United States or Canada.