Automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturers in Japan: building new plants

Toyota, Honda and Nissan launching lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles in 2010-2012



 The lithium-ion battery development and production plans among Japanese battery manufacturers and orders placed by automakers are outlined below.

 The early lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles include Mitsubishi's i-MiEV, Fuji Heavy's Subaru plug-in Stella and Toyota's Prius PHEV (fleet sale of approx. 600 units), all launched in 2009. They were followed by Nissan's Fuga HEV and Leaf EV introduced in 2010. In addition to these, Toyota is launching the seven-seater Prius wagon and Honda is releasing the Civic HEV (in the United States), both powered by lithium-ion batteries and released in 2011. Then, in 2012, Toyota will launch its Prius PHEV on a commercial basis along with the iQ-based EV and the RAV4-based EV while Honda reportedly will launch its EV and PHEV in Japan and the United States in the same year.

 To meet the fast growing demand for batteries from the automakers in Japan and overseas, new battery plants were completed in 2010 by Sanyo Electric (Kasai plant), Toshiba (Kashiwazaki plant) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (a volume production proving plant in Nagasaki).

 In addition, Lithium Energy Japan has started constructing a new plant in Ritto, Shiga Prefecture, and plans to build another plant after acquiring the necessary ground in the adjoining area. AESC/Nissan announced plans to increase the quantity of battery production for EV from the originally planned 54,000 to 90,000 vehicles. The Hitachi group started mass production of batteries for GM's eAssist system toward the end of 2010.

 Among other battery orders, Sanyo Electric has received orders from six automakers including Suzuki and VW. Toshiba has orders from Mitsubishi Motors for its mini commercial electric vehicles and has delivered batteries for the Honda Fit EV concept. Toshiba has started joint development of batteries with Fiat and Scania in addition to VW, which Toshiba has already been engaged in joint development with since 2009. Lithium Energy Japan is likely to receive orders from several automakers in Japan and Europe.

Automotive battery development and production plans among major Japanese rechargeable battery manufacturers

(* indicates plans with Ni-MH batteries; others refer to lithium-ion batteries)
  Main customers Outline of plans
Primearth EV Energy
 As a result of Sanyo Electric becoming Panasonic's new subsidiary company, Toyota's controlling share in PEVE rose from 60% to 80.5% (that of Panasonic fell from 40% to 19.5%) and the company name was changed from Panasonic EV Energy to the new one.
 * PEVE's annual supply capacity of Ni-MH batteries was 1.1 million vehicles as of October 2010. Toyota's HEV will be powered mainly by Ni-MH batteries through the immediate future.
 Toyota will use lithium-ion batteries on the seven-seater Prius wagon being launched in 2011, and on the Prius PHEV, iQ-based EV and RAV4 EV being launched in 2012.
Panasonic Toyota,
Tesla Motors
 * In the process of turning Sanyo Electric into its new subsidiary company, Panasonic sold its Ni-MH battery business to a Chinese company.
 Supplies consumer-use lithium-ion batteries for Tesla Model S and Toyota RAV4 EV.
Sanyo Electric *Honda, Ford, PSA,
VW Group
 * Supplies Ni-MH batteries to Honda, Ford, PSA and VW group. Expanding monthly production at Sumoto Works to 3.5 million cells maximum before the end of FY2010.
Suzuki, VW,
and others
 A new lithium-ion battery plant was completed in Kasai, Hyogo Prefecture in July 2010. Sanyo Electric reportedly has received battery orders from six companies including Suzuki and VW.
Automotive Energy Supply
 In June 2010, the company announced the lithium-ion battery supply capacity would be increased by 36,000 to 90,000 vehicles. Supply of batteries started for the Fuga Hybrid launched in October 2010 and for the Leaf EV production of which started in October.
 Construction of lithium-ion battery plants started in the U.K., the U.S. and Portugal.
Lithium Energy
Japan (LEJ)
 A new plant is being built in Ritto, Shiga Prefecture, after which LEJ will have enough capacity to produce batteries for 67,800 units of Mitsubishi's i-MiEV at three plants combined in the second half of 2012. In addition, its largest shareholder, GS Yuasa having 51% controlling share bought an adjoining site to build another plant to increase supply capacity to 100,000 vehicles in total.
Blue Energy Honda  Supplying lithium-ion batteries for the Civic Hybrid being launched in the U.S. in 2011. Honda reportedly will launch EV and PHEV in Japan and the U.S. in 2012.
Hitachi Group GM, Isuzu,
Mitsubishi Fuso
 Has started mass production for GM's eAssist systems being scheduled for market in 2011.
 Partnership with Johnson Controls was formed in October 2010.
Toshiba Honda,
 Kashiwazaki plant was completed in September 2010. Jointly developing batteries for EV with VW.
 Supplying batteries for Mitsubishi Motors' mini commercial EV and Honda's Fit EV concept.
 Jointly developing batteries for HEV with Fiat and Scania.
MHI in-house
(Forklift, EV Bus)
 A mass production proving plant was completed in November 2010 within the premises of Nagasaki shipbuilding yard. Will supply lithium-ion batteries for the EV bus proving tests being conducted by the cities of Kyoto and Aomori.
 In March 2011, the company announced it was developing high-power batteries for HEV use.

Source: Press releases from each company, media reports

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