Tokyo — Toyota Motor and Panasonic are considering jointly developing batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), a partnership that could help Panasonic extend its market lead in automotive lithium-ion batteries. Wednesday’s announcement builds on an existing agreement under which Panasonic manufactures batteries for Toyota’s petrol-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Toyota said last year it was planning to add fully electric vehicles to its product line-up in a shift away from its previous green-car strategy of focusing on plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles. It has said it plans to start marketing pure EVs in the early 2020s. Panasonic is the main EV battery supplier for luxury US car maker Tesla. The electronics firm commands 29% of the market for batteries used in plug-in hybrids and EVs, according to Nomura Research data for the first half of 2017. Nearest rival LG Chem holds 13% of the market, followed by China’s BYD on 10% and Contemporary Amperex Technology at 9%. "Working ...

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