Leading technology company Panasonic, energy company Equinor and industrial group Hydro have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Nov. 18 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 MoU for the strategic partnership was signed by (from left) Allan Swan, President of Panasonic Energy North America, Al Cook, Executive Vice President of Global Strategy & Business Development in Equinor, and Arvid Moss, Executive Vice President of Energy and Corporate Development in Hydro. (Source: Equinor)

The companies will also investigate the potential for an integrated battery value chain and for co-location of supply chain partners. The findings from this initial exploratory phase will form the basis for subsequent decisions.

Panasonic’s plan for expanding its footprint in the European lithium-ion battery market
Mototsugu Sato, Executive Vice President of Panasonic, says 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.

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 believe the combined strengths of Panasonic, Equinor and Hydro represent an attractive starting point for exploring the possibilities for a profitable and sustainable battery business in Norway, where we have a strong foothold, renewable power base and close proximity to the European market,” Arvid Moss, executive vice president of energy and corporate development at Hydro, said.

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.