Toyota and Panasonic to jointly develop EV batteries
Toyota and Panasonic are establishing a new company (joint venture) related to the production of automotive EV batteries.
Toyota and Panasonic will establish a joint venture (pending approval from the competition-law authorities in the countries and regions concerned) by the end of 2020. The scope of the joint venture's business operations will cover research, development, production engineering, manufacturing, procurement, order receipt, and management related to automotive prismatic lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries, and next-generation batteries.
The ratio of equity participation in the joint venture will be 51% for Toyota and 49% for Panasonic. Toyota will transfer equipment and personnel to the joint venture in the areas of development and production engineering related to battery cells.
The total number of employees from both companies related to operations subject to transfer to the joint venture is 3,500 (as of the end of December 2018).
Products produced by the joint venture will be sold to various automakers through, in principle, Panasonic.
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In addition to changes in consumer needs for the automobile, as evidenced by such shifts as those toward connected vehicles, autonomous driving, and car-sharing services, today's automotive world is also being called on by society to help find solutions to such issues as those related to global warming, resources, and energy. As vehicle electrification accelerates toward the solving of such environmental issues, batteries are a most-important element.
According to the official press release “numerous battery-related challenges must be tackled, including not only having advanced technological capabilities to address issues of cost, energy density, charging time, and safety, but also being able to ensure stable supply capacity and having effective recycling structures. The business environment is one in which independent efforts by battery manufacturers or automobile manufacturers are not enough for solving the issues concerned”.
Against the backdrop of such a business environment, Toyota and Panasonic announced on Dec. 13, 2017 an agreement to study the feasibility of a joint automotive prismatic battery business. Since then, the two companies have achieved high-capacity and high-output automotive prismatic batteries that lead the industry in terms of both performance and cost. To contribute to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles, Toyota and Panasonic have also repeatedly held earnest discussions on the concrete details of their collaboration.
Toyota and Panasonic are confident that the contracts concluded today will further strengthen and accelerate their actions toward achieving competitive batteries.
Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi said: "Together with Panasonic, we want to hone our competitiveness in batteries, which represent one of the core technologies of electrified vehicles. By contributing to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles, we want to help find solutions to issues such as global warming, environment-related challenges, and energy-related challenges. We have high expectations for the new company, including―as we aim to deliver ever-better electrified vehicles to even more customers―its role in fulfilling our plans for the popularization of electrified vehicles* (including achieving Toyota annual global sales of more than 5.5 million units of electrified vehicles), which we announced at the end of 2017."
Panasonic Senior Managing Executive Officer Masahisa Shibata said: "Uniting with Toyota's battery and production-engineering technologies provides us an excellent opportunity for being able to evolve our automotive prismatic batteries, which have an established track record of performance and safety, faster than ever. Through the electrification of vehicles, we want to accelerate our contribution to the realization of a society of mobility that is kind to the environment."
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.