Mazda And Panasonic Finally Strike Deal On Cylindrical EV Battery Supply

Mazda Motor Corporation and Panasonic Energy, after some nine months of discussions aimed at building a medium- to long-term partnership for the supply of cylindrical automotive lithium-ion batteries, have reached an agreement.

The two Japanese companies started talks in June 2023 and today announced an agreement for the supply of cylindrical automotive lithium-ion batteries. It essentially means that Mazda is on board with Panasonic’s cylindrical batteries.

Panasonic is looking for customers

Panasonic’s cylindrical batteries were used mostly in Tesla EVs. In recent years, the company started to work on large, high-capacity 4680-type cylindrical cells, which besides Tesla might find some use also in Subaru and Mazda EVs.

However, we don’t know any details regarding this partnership yet. The two companies only said that details will be communicated at the appropriate time.

The discussion process between Panasonic and Mazda is very similar to the one between Panasonic and Subaru, which also resulted in an agreement related to the supply of cylindrical automotive lithium-ion batteries.

We guess that Mazda and Subaru are interested in Panasonic’s latest high-capacity cylindrical batteries—potentially the 4680-type (a diameter of 46 mm and height of 80 mm) or something similar (46xx). Panasonic intends to launch the first 4680-type batteries in April-September 2024. The company also offers smaller types (1865, 2170) and prismatic ones, but the prismatic cells are not even considered as the key word is “cylindrical.”

There is a possibility that Panasonic’s initial 4680-type battery production in Japan will be for Mazda and Subaru. At the same time, if the company produces the 4680-type in the U.S. for Tesla, the other brands will also place orders because they need to secure local battery supply to qualify for incentives.