Panasonic may start supplying EV batteries to Subaru

Panasonic Holdings Corp.'s battery manufacturing unit may begin supplying Subaru Corp. with electric vehicle batteries, in a deal that would grow its customer network within Japan, sources close to the matter said Friday.

The move comes after Panasonic Energy Co. recently agreed to supply Mazda Motor Corp. with batteries for its EV models scheduled to be launched in the latter half of the 2020s.

Panasonic Energy, a major supplier of batteries to U.S. EV pioneer Tesla Inc., faces growing competition from global rivals including South Korea's LG Corp. and China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co.

The unit's cylindrical lithium-ion batteries are gaining prominence for their exceptional fast-charging performance, as the demand for EVs continues to skyrocket amid a global push to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Its group company has positioned automotive batteries as a priority investment area and plans to build a new plant in North America to increase EV battery production capacity.

© Kyodo News