50 Companies, Including Toyota and Honda, to Share EV Battery Manufacturing Data; Meet Environmental Regulations in the U.S. and Europe

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry

Japanese automobile and storage battery manufacturers will start a project to share manufacturing and usage data related to electric vehicle storage batteries as early as spring. As storage batteries are becoming increasingly important for economic security, the manufacturers aim to use the data to respond to environmental regulations being developed in Europe and the United States, increase the reliability of their products, and expand related services.

The proposed project is the first in a series of interindustry data collaboration initiatives led by the government. A general incorporated “automobile and storage battery traceability promotion center” will soon be established as a command post for the project. The center is likely to be certified as a “public interest digital platformer” by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, which recognizes data providers that serve the public interest.

About 50 companies are expected to participate in the organization, including Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Inc., a joint venture between Toyota and Panasonic Holdings Corp. Industry associations such as the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association will also participate.

The data to be shared in the project will for now be limited to what is used for human rights considerations, such as child labor, as well as the amount of greenhouse gas emitted during the manufacturing process. In the future, a wide range of data will be collected, from material procurement, manufacturing and sales data to disposal and recycling data.

Behind the large-scale collaboration among domestic players is concern over battery regulations set to be introduced in Europe from 2025.

Under the new regulations, manufacturers and others will be required to disclose greenhouse gas emissions throughout the entire manufacturing process in order to export and sell EVs and storage batteries in Europe. Companies will also be required to collect and manage data that supports their emissions calculations. If Japanese companies fail to comply with the new regulations, they may not be able to sell EVs and other vehicles in Europe. The U.S. is considering similar regulations.

The organization envisions a joint data infrastructure created by domestic players that interconnects with related institutions in Europe and the U.S. so that individual companies will not have to store and manage the data themselves.

Data linkage is also expected to lead to the development of related businesses. In Japan, services such as secondhand sales and rentals of storage batteries have not yet reached maturity, because the industry has yet to establish a common mechanism for checking usage history and remaining capacity.

The government also intends to encourage data linkage in other industries, including manufacturing and energy.