Announcement comes shortly after Toyota and Panasonic joined hands to develop EV batteries
Suzuki Motors has confirmed that it will not be a part of the Toyota-Panasonic joint venture (JV) which is aimed at strengthening prismatic battery technology for EVs. However, the Japanese carmaker did hint that it could strike a deal with the duo to supply batteries in the future. Speaking at an event in Tokyo, Tashiro Suzuki, CEO of Suzuki Motors, reportedly said that there was “no room” for Suzuki Motors in the Toyota-Panasonic tie up.
Panasonic already supplies lithium-ion batteries for Toyota’s plug-in hybrid, the Prius, and the new venture is a step forward towards strengthening the engineering relationship between the two brands. Under the terms of the JV, engineers from both manufacturers will work together in further developing the prismatic battery technology in terms performance, price, safety and supply capacity.
In September this year, Suzuki announced that it would be setting up a lithium-ion battery plant in India in collaboration with Toshiba and Denso (a Toyota Company). The plant is located in the supplier’s park neighbouring Maruti Suzuki’s facility in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, and will be Suzuki’s first battery plant when it starts production by the end of this decade. Suzuki also made it clear that it is open to supplying batteries to other car manufacturers as well.
Earlier this year, Suzuki and Toyota announced a JV to develop and supply EVs for the Indian market by 2020. According to the terms of the venture, Suzuki would be responsible for producing EVs while Toyota would offer technical support required for the production. Some of the EVs developed by Suzuki will also be supplied to Toyota as it needs to deliver EVs for the Andhra Pradesh government’s smart city project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2018. Currently, Toyota has no EVs in its lineup.
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