These two steps would raise Toyota’s production capacity to one million battery packs a year in 2010. But with the new Prius due out in July 2009, along with the possibility of other hybrid models, Toyota is shooting for a capacity of 1.1 million batteries. Panasonic EV is capable of churning out roughly 700,000 NiMH battery packs a year. Panasonic EV will work to offer additional capability without making further plant and equipment investments by increasing productivity and reducing the defect rate.

Toyota is seeking access to enough NiMH batteries to equip 1.1 million hybrid cars in 2010, or 10% more than was initially called for in its existing expansion plans.

Panasonic EV is a joint venture owned 60% by Toyota and 40% by Panasonic Corp.

Panasonic EV Energy will also make the lithium-ion battery packs for the plug-in hybrid cars that Toyota intends to launch at the end of 2009.