Panasonic, Equinor Form Partnership for Establishing European Battery Business

Panasonic, Equinor and Hydro have signed an MoU to form a strategic partnership to explore possibilities for establishing a European battery business.

Panasonic, energy company Equinor and industrial group Hydro have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) 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 companies intend that this 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 the 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, said 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, 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 in Equinor said that the three firms seek to become the  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.”

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.

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.

Recently, multiple reports claim that the plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2035 has been moved further up with the new target of 2030 as the green transition continues to gather pace in the transport sector. Clearly, what was impossible in 2017, seems to be a lot more closer in 2020 to policymakers in the UK. On the anvil are also plans to make firms declare their risks from climate change by 2025, in their financial reportings. That would be a first for any major economy.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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