Leading technology company Panasonic, energy company Equinor and industrial group Hydro have agreed to form a strategic partnership to explore possibilities for establishing a sustainable and cost-competitive European battery business.
The companies will work together towards summer 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 initiative is based on Panasonic’s leading technology and targets the European market for electric vehicles and other applications.
The companies 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 form the basis for subsequent decisions.
Mototsugu Sato, Executive Vice President of Panasonic, explained 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,” said Sato.
"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 added.
“We believe that battery storage will play an increasingly important role in bringing energy systems to net zero emissions. By pooling our different areas of energy expertise, our companies will seek to create a battery business that is profitable, scalable and sustainable,” said 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 expect battery production to grow rapidly as a solution to the world’s number one challenge, climate change. We have already seen in recent years that Hydro’s unique combination of capabilities from renewable energy and processing industries provide a strong foundation for partnerships for exploring growth opportunities in the battery industry,” said 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. Preliminary findings are expected around mid-2021.
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