Even as it has faced high demand for batteries from Tesla, Panasonic has been slower to build scale compared with rival suppliers LG Energy Solution of South Korea and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co.
Toyota's move to convert Japanese engine plants to build batteries is part of a wider $5.6 billion investment aimed at increasing battery capacity worldwide.
In ramping up regional output to meet booming demand for EVs, Panasonic also aims to increase localized sourcing of battery materials, targeting a 50 percent local procure rate.
The factory is expected to begin production in 2025, and it will eventually supply electric vehicles and hybrids built in the region.
Nissan hopes that recycling batteries and re-using them in electric vehicles will help lower production costs as the price of rare metals rise, the daily Nikkei reported.
Tesla says the battery will store more energy, halve battery costs and drive a 100-fold increase in battery production by 2030.
Mercedes, which did not disclose the location of Envision's new U.S. cell factory, also flipped the switch on a new battery assembly plant located on 270 acres near its vehicle factory.
The automaker plans 23 new electrified vehicles, including 15 EVs, and aims for an electrification mix of 50 percent across the Nissan and Infiniti brands by March 31, 2031.
The $1.3 billion plant will eventually make batteries for as many as 1.2 million hybrid, plug-in hybrid and BEVs per year, the automaker said.
CEO Ola Källenius, speaking during the company's opening of its first U.S. EV battery factory, also affirmed the company's 2022 financial outlook remained in place despite the conflict.
Experts warn that failure to obtain adequate supplies of lithium, nickel, manganese or cobalt could slow the shift to electric vehicles.
Panasonic plans to boost battery density by using a new mix of additives to allow individual cells to run at a higher voltage without damaging battery performance.
Japan's Envision AESC will invest $2 billion to build a battery-cell and module plant in Kentucky to supply Mercedes-Benz and multiple other automakers.
The ever-resourceful automaker has found a new way to squeeze more life from the tried-and-true battery technology, giving hybrid vehicles a new lease on life.