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

The companies will work 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 the initiative to be based on Panasonic’s technology and will target the European market for electric vehicles and other applications.

The companies will also investigate the potential for an integrated battery value chain and for co-location of supply chain partners.

“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 [the] way for a robust and sustainable battery business in Norway,” said Panasonic EVP, Mototsugu Sato.

“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 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.”

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 the joint battery initiative.

Preliminary findings are expected around mid-2021.