Toyota Motor Company is expected to receive an $853 million subsidy from Japan’s industry ministry to expand its electric vehicle (EV) battery production. Toyota has ambitious EV battery production plans for the future.
Toyota plans to produce low-cost battery cells with 621 miles of cruising range before 2030. The Japanese automaker aims to eventually make cells providing over 700 miles of range. The company plans to use its batteries from Aqua and Crown hybrid vehicles in its battery electric vehicles (BEVs). It also plans to use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells in Toyota BEVs.
The company will use part of the subsidy to develop its low-cost battery and LFP cells. Nikkei reports that Toyota also plans to use the subsidy to expand output at Prime Planet Energy & Solutions and Primearth EV Energy, which are both joint ventures with Panasonic.
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry officially designated storage batteries as crucial to the country’s economic security. As such, the Japanese government secured funds in its supplementary fiscal 2022 budget to support storage batteries. The Japanese government seems aware of the shift in the auto industry toward electric vehicles and the role battery cells will play in the future.
The subsidy is meant to boost domestic EV battery production and prevent supply chain risks, similar to how The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the United States has led international automakers to invest in North America and countries that have a trade agreement with the U.S. Other countries, like China, have started supported domestic battery production as well.
It seems that Japan wants to secure its position in the current battery supply chain by supporting domestic cell production. According to SNE Research, Japanese companies hold less than a 10% share in automotive battery usage, primarily thanks to Tesla’s partnership with Panasonic.
Meanwhile, Chinese suppliers command a big chunk of the pie thanks to big names like CATL. Korean battery suppliers also top the list, with companies like LG Energy Solutions partnering with Tesla, Ford, and other prominent automakers.