© Panasonic General | November 20, 2020
Panasonic and two partners to explore potential for European battery business
Panasonic is teaming up with energy company Equinor and industrial group Hydro forming a strategic partnership to explore possibilities for establishing a sustainable and cost-competitive European battery business.
The companies – who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding – will work together towards the summer of 2021 to assess the market for lithium-ion batteries in Europe and mature the business case for a green battery business located in Norway. The trio will also investigate the potential for an integrated battery value chain and for co-location of supply chain partners. The findings from this initial exploratory phase will then form the basis for decisions to follow. Mototsugu Sato, Executive Vice President of Panasonic says the company sees the strategic partnership with Equinor and Hydro as a potential basis for future development and growth in the energy/battery sector in the European region. "This collaboration combines Panasonic's position as an innovative technology company and leader in lithium-ion batteries, with the deep industrial experience of Equinor and Hydro, both strong global players, to potentially pave way for a robust and sustainable battery business in Norway. Panasonic has powered the last two revolutions in the automotive industry – first by powering hybrids and now, by powering multiple generations of all electric vehicles," Sato says in a press release. Ambition to create a profitable, sustainable business "Our companies seek to be leaders in the energy transition. The creation of this world-class battery partnership demonstrates Equinor's ambition to become a broad energy company. We believe that battery storage will play an increasingly important role in bringing energy systems to net zero emissions," adds Al Cook, Executive Vice President of Global Strategy & Business Development in Equinor. Electrification is a fundamental element in Europe's transition towards net zero emissions in 2050, and batteries are expected to play a vital role in this, especially in the transportation sector, where demand is growing rapidly. "We believe the combined strengths of Panasonic, Equinor and Hydro represent an attractive starting point for exploring the possibilities for a profitable and sustainable battery business in Norway, where we have a strong foothold, renewable power base and close proximity to the European market," says Arvid Moss, Executive Vice President of Energy and Corporate Development in Hydro. As part of this initial phase, the companies will directly engage potential customers in Europe's automotive and non-automotive industries and enter into dialogue with relevant authorities in Norway and in Europe aiming at ensuring competitive framework conditions for this joint battery initiative.