The Japanese car and battery manufacturers Toyota, Honda and Panasonic allegedly plan to jointly procure cobalt for electric car batteries. A joint venture is expected to be established in about one year.
“Each participating company will acquire a share of up to around 10 per cent,” writes The Japan Times. In addition, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is supporting the foundation by accompanying negotiations with countries that own cobalt mines. Nissan, Suzuki, Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi will apparently also consider joining the initiative.
Japanese carmakers are demonstrating their willingness to cooperate in many fields, including solid battery research and the procurement of raw material. Such agreements are an extraordinary step between market competitors and probably indicative of the increasing market power of their Chinese counterparts. Only recently, a Japanese car/battery manufacturer duo, Toyota and Panasonic, indicated planned joint venture plans.
As a reminder, last summer the Japanese government officially formulated the goal that only electric and hybrid vehicles would be produced in the country by 2050. To achieve this goal the government is granting subsidies for the accelerated development of batteries and motors for electrified vehicles, among other things.