Mazda in discussions with Panasonic for lithium-ion battery supply

Alexi Falson

Mazda says that it is one step closer to securing a medium- to long-term partnership with electronics giant, Panasonic, as it looks to ramp-up sales of its electric vehicle and plug-in hybrids around the globe.

The two companies have entered “discussions on establishing” a partnership, which means that nothing is finalised yet, though the end result would see Panasonic becoming Mazda’s major supplier of cylindrical lithium-ion batteries.

Panasonic has some of the most advanced battery tech in the world, and has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with giants like Tesla that have resulted in some significant breakthroughs in size, capacity and efficiency figures for lithium-ion cells used in electric vehicles.

Mazda says that “concrete discussions” will centre on a deal with Panasonic, manufactured at its energy plants in Japan and North America that will make their way into production vehicles “launched in the latter half of the 2020 decade”.

Panasonic’s president and CEO, Kazuo Tadanobu, said that “with our superior technology and extensive experience, we will drive growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and further accelerate our efforts to achieve zero emissions”.

Mazda’s director, Masahiro Moro, said: “As part of our electrification initiatives, Mazda is working with its partners in three phases to flexibly respond to changes in regulatory trends, consumer needs and other areas. We are delighted to collaborate with Panasonic Energy, which has been a pioneer in automotive lithium-ion batteries.”

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