Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sanyo to build ¥30B plant for automotive Li-Ion batteries

SANYO Li-Ion Battery Pack for Electric Vehicles

TOKYO : May 14, 2009 - Sanyo Electric Co. will spend about ¥30 billion (US$314 million) to build an automotive lithium-ion battery plant. The new factory is expected to come onstream by the end of fiscal 2010, with capacity to produce enough lithium-ion batteries for more than 100,000 standard hybrid vehicles in fiscal 2011.

With combined production at the new factory and another plant in Tokushima Prefecture that will begin operating as early as the end of the year, Sanyo plans to boost its overall output capacity of lithium ion batteries by over 500% for about 120,000 vehicles a year.

The company will also bolster output of nickel hydride batteries—its mainstay product—and invest several billion yen in the existing production line at a Sumoto factory, also in Hyogo Prefecture. The plan is to increase annual production by about 150% to 30 million units (150,000 cars) in fiscal 2009 from 12 million units (60,000 cars) in fiscal 2008. Sanyo’s nickel hydride battery is installed in the Insight hybrid of Honda Motor Co. (7267) and vehicles of Ford Motor Co.

In 2008, Volkswagen and Sanyo announced a partnership to work on next-generation high-performance automotive electric storage systems based on lithium-ion technology. The Volkswagen Group said that it hopes to be able to apply Li-ion technology in its first vehicles by 2010. (Earlier post.)

Sanyo has agreed to be acquired by Panasonic, which currently provides NiMH packs to Toyota and is developing Li-ion packs through its PEVE joint venture.

[Source : NIKKEI via GreenCarCongress]


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