Subaru and Panasonic Forge Partnership for Cylindrical EV Batteries

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Subaru and Panasonic Forge Partnership for Cylindrical EV Batteries

Subaru and Panasonic Energy have officially agreed to collaborate, aiming to supply Subaru with cylindrical lithium-ion batteries for their upcoming all-electric vehicles. This partnership, which has been in discussion since July 2023, signals Subaru’s commitment to Panasonic’s cutting-edge high-capacity cylindrical batteries, such as the 4680-type or similar models, moving away from prismatic or laminated battery designs. Panasonic is set to release these new batteries between April and September 2024.

Currently, Subaru’s solitary electric vehicle, the Subaru Solterra, features prismatic battery cells from CATL, containing a 72.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Notably, the Solterra is produced in collaboration with Toyota, highlighting Subaru’s recent foray into electric vehicles.

Looking ahead, Subaru and Panasonic are focusing on evolving battery technology to decrease costs, enhance energy density, and explore integrating batteries as structural components of vehicles, marking a significant shift from current practices.

Panasonic is gearing up to support the needs of next-generation electric vehicles, engaging in strategic discussions with automakers like Subaru and Mazda to align on requirements ahead of significant investments. Notably, Panasonic also supplies batteries to Tesla and is expected to produce the new 4680-type batteries for the renowned automaker. While the specific aims of the recent agreement between Subaru and Panasonic remain under wraps, the companies hint at future announcements regarding their collaborative projects.

We can piece together Subaru’s strategy for electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S., especially considering the demand for domestic EV battery production under North American regulations and Panasonic’s intention to boost its U.S. battery production capabilities. Here are the key takeaways from Subaru’s worldwide electrification strategy:

By 2030, Subaru aims for electric vehicles (EVs) to comprise 50% of its sales, targeting around 600,000 units from an anticipated total of 1.2 million. The plan includes introducing eight models, with a mix of four crossovers/SUVs, by the close of 2026. Production will be split between Japan and the U.S. For the American market specifically, Subaru sets its sights on selling 400,000 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2028, accounting for roughly half of its total sales volume.

If Subaru achieves these goals, it will transform from a minor player in the electric vehicle (EV) market to a prominent brand with a diverse range of electric options for prospective customers.

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