Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES), the joint venture between Toyota (51%) and Panasonic (49%), is on a mission to significantly reduce the costs of prismatic lithium-ion batteries and overtake Chinese and South Korean competitors.

The company, led by Hiroaki Koda - a former executive at Toyota, set a target to slash costs by up to 50% by 2022. In the longer perspective, the costs are to be reduced by 65%-70% by 2025, which sounds really ambitious.

According to Bloomberg's article, about 60% of the prismatic lithium-ion battery cost is related to resources like lithium and cobalt, while the remaining 40% falls on development, production and investments.

PPES is working hard to improve in all areas because lower prices are necessary to spread electrification.

“It’s a competitive world. There’s a certain price level necessary for EVs to spread. If we don’t meet that, we won’t sell.” - Hiroaki Koda

Initially, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions was focused mostly on hybrids and so far it holds a 25% share in the global battery market for hybrids. However, the next chapter will be batteries for all-electric cars.

This year, the company is installing manufacturing lines for prismatic lithium-ion batteries for battery electric vehicles (BEV) at its existing domestic facilities in Himeji, Japan. The planned output at the site will be enough to support 80,000 BEVs annually, which gives us glimpses of what to expect from Toyota BEV sales in the near term.

Overview of the newly established production lines:

PPES Himeji Facility

Location: 1-6 Megahidacho, Shikama-ku, Himeji, Hyogo

Product Line: Automotive prismatic lithium-ion batteries for battery electric vehicles (BEV)

Start of Production: Planned from 2021, gradually expanding production levels

Production capacity: Expected to further supply approximately80,000 BEV sper year

The company continues investments also in manufacturing capacity for batteries for hybrids. The plant is Dalian, China will be expanded to support 400,000 HEVs annually.

The total output of HEV batteries stands at 1.4 million (2020), but it will significantly increase, including a plan to add 500,000 HEVs sets at a factory on the Japanese island of Shikoku in 2022.

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