Technology company Panasonic, energy firm Equinor and industrial group Hydro have joined forces to explore the potential for establishing a sustainable and cost-competitive battery business in Europe.
They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a strategic partnership and assess the market for lithium-ion batteries in Europe and mature the business case for a green battery joint venture located in Norway.
The initiative is intended to be based on Panasonic’s technology and targets the European market for electric vehicles (EVs) and other applications.
The companies will also investigate the potential for an integrated value chain and for co-location of supply chain partners, with findings from the initial exploratory phase – expected around mid-2021 – forming the basis for subsequent decisions.
They will directly engage with potential customers in Europe’s automotive and non-automotive industries as well as relevant authorities in Norway and Europe, aiming at ensuring competitive framework conditions for this joint battery initiative.
Mototsugu Sato, Executive Vice President of Panasonic said: “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. We are pleased to enter into this initiative to explore implementing sustainable, highly advanced technology and supply chains to deliver on the exacting needs of lithium-ion battery customers and support the renewable energy sector in the European region.”
Al Cook, Executive Vice President of Global Strategy & Business Development at Equinor added: “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. By pooling our different areas of energy expertise, our companies will seek to create a battery business that is profitable, scalable and sustainable.”