1. Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda (screen-left) and Panasonic Corporation President Kazuhiro Tsuga at news conference
2. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation:
"The teaming up of the two companies in order to realise a richer and more fun mobile society than now will be a crystalisation of two Japanese companies that intend to lead this electric vehicle era."
3. Wide of news conference
4. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) Kazuhiro Tsuga, President of Panasonic Corporation:
I think it (the battery) is a key factor for a wider use of EV (Electric Vehicles) and to realise a sustainable society as well as being an important business for us, Panasonic. In this context, we will further advance measurements to develop and produce (car batteries) by strengthening our cooperation with the car makers."
5. Various of Toyoda and Tsuga shaking hands and posing for the cameras
6. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation:
"EV is a vehicle that carries a heavy and expensive battery. That's what people think. If we continue to do what we are doing now, we cannot change this situation so we need to work with our alliance companies such as Panasonic to seek for 'better' production."
FILE: Tokyo – 25 October 2017
7. Various of Concept-i (EV Car) at the Tokyo Motor Show 2017
8. Various of Fine-Comfort Ride (Fuel Cell Car) at the Tokyo Motor Show 2017
Toyota Motor Corp. and Panasonic Corp. announced on Wednesday that they will begin talks to jointly develop batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).
The two Japanese companies have a long history of cooperation in producing batteries for hybrid vehicles, an area Toyota has been focusing on.
The Japanese auto giant currently has no EVs in its lineup, however.
Toyota has been leading eco-friendly cars since it launched the Prius, the world's first mass production hybrid vehicle, in 1997, followed by the Mirai fuel cell vehicle in 2014.
Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, who took part in a news conference with Panasonic Corporation President Kazuhiro Tsuga in Tokyo, said the speed of change in the car industry was so fast, the company needed to engage with others such as Panasonic with their battery expertise so Japanese companies can be leaders in the EV industry.
Panasonic has been a leading maker in automotive lithium-ion batteries applied by automakers worldwide.
Panasonic's Tsuga meanwhile said his company hopes by working with Toyota it can advance improvements in its battery capability as well as possibly aim at developing the next generation of batteries.