Toyota eyes boost in electric vehicles

The Toyota logo is shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles California U.S

This morning in metals news, Toyota and Panasonic are considering working together on developing electric vehicle batteries, U.S. Steel did not test for toxic materials after a chemical spill into Lake Michigan in October and U.S. raw steel production last week was up 4.3% compared with the same week in 2016.

Toyota's battery needs are likely to increase after it said past year it would add fully electric vehicles to its product line-up in the early 2020s, expanding a green-car strategy which has focused on plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles (FCV). The company's third-generation hybrid system has attained unprecedented levels of efficiency and delivers unprecedented all-electric battery range.

Panasonic now produces lithium-ion batteries for Toyota's Prius and other models, also other vehicle producers and is a major supplier to U.S. electric carmaker Tesla.

Toyota reached a deal to explore a new battery partnership with Panasonic in a move that threatens to encroach on Tesla's territory, heightening the ongoing rivalry between the two automakers.

"The auto market faces numerous difficulties to developing next-generation batteries which are hard for automakers or battery makers to tackle on their own", Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said at a joint press conference. "That's why we're looking for Panasonic and other companies to help us establish ever-better cars and batteries".

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"It would be hard for us to meet our 2030 goals offered the current pace of battery advancement".

Toyoda said the target would mean selling around 5.5 million electric-powered vehicles in total by 2030.

In September, Toyota teamed up with smaller domestic rival Mazda to develop electric vehicles.

Toyota and Panasonic have worked together since 1953 and Panasonic's traditional batteries are already widely used across the automotive industry in EVs, including in various hybrid models produced by Toyota.

"We need to be able to develop new battery technologies in a prismatic format, and this would be hard on our own".

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