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by Tim Beissmann

Panasonic EV Energy Co, the company that supplies batteries for most Toyota Motor Corp hybrids, has changed its name to Primearth EV Energy Co.

The name change comes after Toyota recently increased its stake in the venture to 80.5 percent.

When the joint venture was formed in 1996, Panasonic controlled 60 percent of the business and Toyota the remaining 40 percent.

Along with the new name, Primearth announced the production of its three-millionth nickel metal-hydride battery pack.

Primearth’s production figures are a telling statistic of the increasing demand for hybrid vehicles.

Between 1996 and 2006 it made one million packs. By the end of 2008 it had reached two million. Now just 18 months later it has reached the third milestone.

According to Primearth’s website, its battery products are currently used in hybrid versions of the Toyota Crown, Prius, Camry, Kluger and Estima, the Lexus LS600h and GS450h, the Daihatsu HiJet Cargo and the Hino Dutro.

It was reported last year that Toyota plans to purchase as many as 10,000 lithium-ion batteries from Sanyo Electric from 2011 to meet increasing demand for next-generation hybrid vehicles.

(with Autoblog Green)




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