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A surge in electric vehicle sales is driving up demand for equipment used to produce batteries and other parts. But some Japanese companies are struggling to keep up.
Business Spotlight

Japan's small EV battery suppliers feel the heat in race for scale

Tokyo urges alliances to stay competitive but companies wary of giving up control

RYOHTAROH SATOH, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Smaller companies play a big role in Japan's electric vehicle battery supply chain, indirectly supporting the likes of Toyota Motor and Tesla. But many are struggling to keep pace with the speed and scale of investment needed as EV demand booms, threatening to create bottlenecks in an industry that Tokyo is keen to promote.

"We recently received requests from Europe, the U.S., China and South Korea -- including two major automobile companies -- to buy our machines, but we turned them all down," the president of a Japanese machine maker told Nikkei Asia. "There's just no room in our production capacity right now."

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