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

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

2011/04/12

Summary

 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
(PEVE)/Toyota
 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
(AESC)/Nissan
 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)
Mitsubishi
Motors
 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,
Mitsubishi
Motors
 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.
Mitsubishi
Heavy
Industries
MHI in-house
Products
(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



Primearth EV Energy / Toyota: Toyota to continue using Ni-MH batteries on its HEV

 As a result of Panasonic turning Sanyo Electric as its new subsidiary company in December 2009, Toyota's controlling share in Panasonic EV Energy (PEVE), a joint venture company formed by Toyota and Panasonic, rose in April 2010 from 60% to 80.5% and the company name was changed to Primearth EV Energy in June of the same year (the abbreviated form of the company name "PEVE" remains unchanged).

 With the expansion work of the Miyagi plant in October 2010, PEVE's supply capacity of Ni-MH batteries increased to 1.1 million vehicles (operation is currently suspended as of the end of March due to the devastating earthquake that hit the area).

 While Toyota is following the policy of powering its HEV with Ni-MH batteries through the immediate future, the seven-seater Prius wagon being launched in 2011 will be Toyota's first HEV to be powered by lithium-ion batteries. Toyota will also use lithium-ion batteries on the Prius PHEV being released to private users as well in 2012, the iQ-based EV, the RAV4-based EV jointly developed with Tesla Motors, etc.

Toyota: Introducing lithium-ion battery-powered models starting in 2011

・ Prius PHEV (for fleet users): Approx. 600 units were leased to corporate users in Japan, the U.S. and Europe from the end of 2009 through the first half of 2010. ・ Seven-seater Prius wagon: Being launched in Japan and Europe in 2011. Ni-MH batteries are used on the five-seater version while lithium-ion batteries are used on the seven-seater version to secure greater roominess. ・ Prius PHEV:Toyota plans to sell several tens of thousands units a year starting in early 2012. ・ iQ-based EV:To be launched in 2012 in Japan, the U.S. and Europe.
 Toyota has developed lithium-ion batteries in a Toyota-led initiative and is producing them at its Teiho plant. PEVE will also produce them once their volume production begins.

Source: Toyota press release 2011.1.11, Automotive News 2011.1.31

PEVE:Renamed Primearth EV Energy

 Panasonic EV Energy was established in 1996 with 60% controlling share by Toyota and 40% by Panasonic group. To comply with the request of the Chinese anti-trust authority with regards to Sanyo Electric becoming Panasonic's subsidiary company, Toyota's controlling share was increased in April 2010 to 80.5% (while that of Panasonic was lowered from 40% to 19.5%). Then, the company name was changed to Primearth EV Energy in June of the same year (the abbreviated form of the company name "PEVE" remains unchanged).
 PEVE's Ni-MH battery supply capacity was increased to 1.1 million HEVs a year in October 2010. (See Note)

Source: Primearth EV Energy website, Nikkan Kogyo Newspaper 2011.1.24 (Note) PEVE's Miyagi plant with production capacity of 300,000 vehicles has been inoperative since March 11 due to the East Japan Great Earthquake and the necessary infrastructure has yet to be recovered to resume operation. PEVE reportedly plans to increase production at its plants located in the city of Kosai, Shizuoka Prefecture (with production capacity of 400,000 vehicles at Omori plant and 300,000 vehicles at Sakaijuku plant).

 



Panasonic: Supplying consumer-use batteries for Tesla Model S and Toyota RAV4 EV

 In December 2009, Sanyo Electric became Panasonic's new subsidiary company after which Panasonic announced that its automotive Ni-MH battery business was to be sold to Hunan Corun New Energy Co., Ltd., a Chinese company.

Panasonic: Sells its Ni-MH battery business to a Chinese company

 In January 2011, Panasonic agreed to sell out its Ni-MH battery business to Hunan Corun New Energy Co., Ltd., a Chinese battery manufacturer, to comply with the Chinese anti-trust authority's instruction regarding automotive Ni-MH batteries on the ground that "Panasonic's controlling share would be too high" after the company's acquisition of Sanyo Electric as a new subsidiary company.
 Panasonic is to transfer all resources of the business in question to Shonan Energy, a wholly-owned company, and complete the transfer process to Hunan Corun New Energy within three months after January 31. The Chinese company will be able to use intellectual property rights in the business in question that would allow them to inherit production of replacement batteries for Toyota and Honda and to sell products to Chinese manufacturers as well.

Source: Panasonic press release 2011.2.1, Nihon Keizai Newspaper 2011.2.2

 Panasonic will supply 18650-type consumer-use cylindrical lithium-ion batteries for Model S developed by Tesla Motors, an American EV venture company. In November 2010, Panasonic announced that it would invest $30 million in Tesla Motors.

 Panasonic reportedly will also produce cylindrical lithium-ion batteries, useable on EV, at its Wuxi plant in China.

Panasonic: Investing $30 million in Tesla Motors

 In November 2010, Panasonic announced it would invest $30 million in Tesla Motors, a U.S. venture business company. According to Panasonic, Tesla Motors follows a strategy to receive supplies from plural battery manufacturers and pack them using its own technology; however, the company regards Panasonic as the preferred supplier of all.
 Tesla Motors supplies its own EV and EV powertrain including the battery pack for Daimler's Smart fortwo and A-Class EV. Panasonic and Tesla Motors have agreed to jointly selling battery systems using Panasonic's batteries packed by Tesla Motors.
Source: Panasonic press release 2010.11.4, Nihon Keizai Newspaper 2011.2.17
(Notes) 1. In May 2010, Toyota agreed to the joint development of EV with Tesla Motors and invested $50 million in the American company.
2. The RAV4 EV developed jointly by Toyota and Tesla Motors is expected to use Tesla's battery system using Panasonic's batteries. The RAV4 EV was exhibited at the Los Angeles auto show in November 2010 and at the Detroit auto show in January 2011, and slated for market release in 2012 in the United States.
3. Panasonic was to supply EV systems consisting of an array of consumer-use general-purpose batteries for 1,000 units of delivery EV that Zero Sports had received orders for from Japan Post Service, but this has not been realized due to a cancellation by Japan Post Service.
Producing cylindrical lithium-ion batteries in China eyeing supplies to EV manufacturers as well
Panasonic is producing rectangular lithium-ion batteries for digital cameras and cellular phones at its Wuxi, Jiangsu plant in China, and will start making 18650-size cylindrical batteries (18mm dia., 65mm long) in the FY2012 at the earliest. The 18650-type batteries are used in many applications including laptop PCs and the company reportedly is eyeing supplying them for use on EV as well.

Source: Nikkan Kogyo Newspaper 2011.2.3

 



Sanyo Electric: Lithium-ion battery orders received from six automakers including Suzuki and VW group

 Sanyo Electric, jointly with Panasonic, intends to maintain the top global share in the rechargeable battery markets, and has set the goal to achieve a global share of 40% in FY2020 (for Sanyo Electric alone) in the rechargeable battery market for green vehicles.

 The company currently supplies Ni-MH batteries for HEV to Honda, Ford, PSA and VW group. It will increase production quantity at its Sumoto plant to 3.5 million cells maximum per month during FY2010.

 The company reportedly has received orders for lithium-ion batteries from six automakers including Audi (VW Group)/Suzuki. Its first lithium-ion battery volume production line began operating in 2009 in the Tokushima plant and the second line was completed in July 2010 in Kasai plant. The company now has the necessary facilities to produce more lithium-ion batteries for HEV and also plans to commercialize its batteries for PHEV application in 2011.

 Sanyo Electric has supplied systems that combine 18650-type consumer-use lithium-ion batteries to Yamaha and Suzuki for their electric motorcycles.

Sanyo Electric: A new lithium-ion battery plant completed in July 2010 within Kasai Works premises

 After the completion of Tokushima plant in 2009, a new lithium-ion battery plant was completed in July 2010 within the premises of Kasai Works, Hyogo Prefecture. The ¥13 billion plant will initially produce 1 million lithium-ion battery cells a month and the quantity will be increased to 10 million cells by 2015.
 The new plant will first start producing lithium-ion batteries for HEV use and supply them to Audi in the VW group. The company plans to commercialize lithium-ion batteries for PHEV use in 2011 and build the third mass production line in the Kasai plant.

Source: Sanyo Electric press release 2010.7.30, Automotive News 2010.10.25

Supplying lithium-ion batteries for Suzuki's PHEV
 Sanyo Electric will supply lithium-ion batteries to Suzuki for use on Suzuki Swift Plug-in Hybrid prototypes. Suzuki exhibited the Swift PHEV in the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show and was granted a type certification by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in May 2010. Sanyo has conducted proving tests accordingly. The serial type PHEV having a 660cc power generating engine has the EV driving range of 15km (in JC08 mode).
Supplying lithium-ion batteries for electric motorcycles built by Suzuki and Yamaha
 Sanyo Electric supplied battery systems using the 18650-size consumer-use lithium-ion batteries for Yamaha's electric motorcycles "EC-03" launched in September 2010.  Sanyo Electric has been supplying lithium-ion batteries for Yamaha's motor-assisted bicycles "PAS" since 2004.
 Sanyo Electric will supply driving battery systems using in-wheel and other motor drive systems and consumer-use lithium-ion batteries for the electric scooter prototype "e-Let's" developed by Suzuki. Suzuki is conducting public road tests since September 2010.

Source: Sanyo Electric press release 2010.9.24, Suzuki press release 2010.5.13 (Note) Sanyo Electric has been developing systems that use consumer-use lithium-ion batteries since 2004. The company has realized volume production of two types of such systems, "EVB-101 standard driving battery systems" for mini electric vehicles and "DCB-101 standard storage battery systems" that combine solar cells.

 



AESC/Nissan: Increasing production of lithium-ion batteries for EV use by 36,000 units to 90,000 units a year

 In October 2010, Nissan launched the Fuga HEV powered by lithium-ion batteries in Japan and began production of the Leaf EV in October of the same year.

 Nissan announced the annual production quantity of the lithium-ion batteries for EV use at Zama Works of Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), formed jointly with NEC, would be increased by 36,000 vehicles from 54,000 (65,000 including batteries for HEV etc.) to 90,000 vehicles.

 Nissan plans to start production in foreign countries as well in the U.S. (EV and batteries), the U.K. (EV and batteries) and Portugal (batteries). Construction of plants in those three countries began in FY2010.

AESC / Nissan: Volume production of batteries for the Leaf EV started at Zama Works

 In October 2010, Nissan began production of the Leaf EV at Oppama plant. The EV uses lithium-ion batteries manufactured at Zama Works of Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC). Four cells are built into a module at the plant and forty-eight modules are assembled into a battery pack at Nissan's Oppama plant where they are finally mounted in the EV.
 AESC's lithium-ion battery supply capacity was 65,000 vehicles initially (including batteries for 54,000 EV). The capacity of the batteries for EV use was increased by 36,000 vehicles to 90,000 vehicles considering the potential increase of demand (announced in June 2010).
Construction of lithium-ion battery plants started in the U.S., the U.K. and Portugal
・ U.K.: The battery plant construction work began in April 2010 with production slated to start in 2012 with an annual capacity of enough batteries for 60,000 vehicles. Nissan plans to produce the Leaf EV in early 2013 with an annual capacity of 50,000 vehicles. ・ U.S.: The ground breaking ceremony for the new battery plant was held in May 2010 (annual capacity for 200,000 vehicles). Nissan will start producing the Leaf EV in 2012 at Smyrna plant with an annual capacity of 150,000 units. The plant will require $1.7 billion maximum including $1.4 billion loan from the DOE. ・ Portugal: Construction of the new plant began in February 2011. Production will begin in 2012 with annual capacity for 50,000 vehicles.

Source: Nissan press releases 2010.3.18/2010.5.26/2010.6.11/2010.10.22/2011.2.11

 



Lithium Energy Japan / Mitsubishi Motors: Building battery supply capacity for 100,000 EVs in a long-ranged plan

 Mitsubishi Motors sold 2,000 units of i-MiEV in FY2009 and 9,000 in FY2010. The company is receiving inquiries from overseas as well and plans to sell 25,000 in FY2011.

 In April 2010, Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ), capitalized by Mitsubishi Motors, GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Corporation, decided to build a new plant in Ritto, Shiga Prefecture. This will boost LEJ's supply capacity to 67,800 units of i-MiEV (including 50,000 at the Ritto plant) in the second half of FY2012. The company follows a long-ranged plan to build lithium-ion battery supply capacity for 100,000 EVs in Japan.

 LEJ supplies most of the batteries to Mitsubishi Motors, however, the company is negotiating business with plural automakers from Japan and Europe and the first shipment is slated for sometime in 2013 to 2014.

Lithium Energy Japan: A long-ranged plan to increase battery supply capacity to 100,000 EVs a year

 In April 2010, Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ), capitalized by Mitsubishi Motors, GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Corporation, decided to build a new plant in Ritto, Shiga Prefecture. LEJ will invest ¥37.5 billion in total and start producing 4.4 million automotive lithium-ion battery cells (for 50,000 units of i-MiEV) a year in the early part of FY2012. The new plant will start full operation in the second half of 2012 after which LEJ's total capacity at three plants (Kusatsu, Kyoto and Ritto) will reach 6 million cells a year (enough for 67,800 units of i-MiEV). LEJ announced a long-ranged plan to build a lithium-ion battery supply capacity for 100,000 EVs in Japan.
 In September 2010, GS Yuasa having 51% controlling share in LEJ through a subsidiary company announced it has purchased approximately 4.4ha of land next to the site where a new LEJ plant is to be built, and build still another lithium-ion battery plant there. LEJ is currently negotiating business with plural automakers in Japan and Europe and will build a new plant in the newly purchased site as soon as orders are finalized. The company expects to start shipment sometime in 2013 to 2014.

Source: Lithium Energy Japan press release 2010.4.14, GS Yuasa press release 2010.9.27

 



Blue Energy / Honda: Will produce batteries for 250,000 to 300,000 Hybrids in 2013-2014

 In April 2009, Honda and GS Yuasa jointly formed a new company, Blue Energy, and began construction of a new plant in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture.

 The new company will supply lithium-ion batteries for the Civic HEV being launched by Honda in the United States in the spring of 2011. Blue Energy is expected to begin full operation in 2013-2014 producing enough batteries for 250,000 to 300,000 Hybrids a year.

 Honda reportedly will launch EV and PHEV in 2012 in Japan and the United States. In December 2010, the company disclosed the Fit-based EV (powered by Toshiba's lithium-ion SCiB batteries) and the Inspire-based PHEV concept (powered by Blue Energy's lithium-ion batteries).

 



Hitachi group: Supplies lithium-ion batteries for GM's eAssist systems

 Hitachi Vehicle Energy of the Hitachi group began, toward the end of 2010, volume production of lithium-ion batteries (Hitachi's third-generation LIB-III batteries) to be used on GM's next-generation Mild Hybrid (called eAssist by GM) being launched in 2011. GM reportedly will use the battery on 2012MY Buick LaCrosse/Regal and later on all its models as one of the major tools that will help GM comply with the fuel efficiency regulations in the United States.

 Following the LIB-III battery development, Hitachi group is in the process of developing the LIB-IV battery characterized by 4,500W/kg power density, and of still new batteries for PHEV/EV use with 120Wh/kg energy density. In March 2011, the group disclosed plans to commercialize lithium-ion batteries within two years that will represent cost reduction to at least one third the current cost and more than three-fold capacity.

 In October 2010, Hitachi announced it was studying the feasibility of joint development, production and marketing of advanced-storage products and systems with Johnson Controls, a U.S. corporation.

Hitachi group: Volume production of lithium-ion batteries for GM's eAssist

 In 2008, Hitachi reached an agreement with GM to annually supply enough lithium-ion batteries for 100,000 units of GM's next-generation Mild Hybrid systems. GM will make the next-generation Mild Hybrid version (GM calls the eAssist) using Hitachi's batteries available with the 2012MY Buick LaCrosse/Regal.
 GM will reportedly adopt the eAssist system on all its models as one of the main tools to comply with the U.S. government's regulation that calls for an average fuel economy of at least 35.5 mpg for every automaker in 2016. GM claims the eAssist can achieve 20 to 25% improvement of fuel economy, is less expensive than other full hybrid systems, and adoptable on many models.

Source: Automotive News 2010.10.11/2010.11.15 (Note) Hitachi Vehicle Energy's main plant that makes lithium-ion batteries for GM, located in Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture, was hit by the East Japan Great Earthquake of March 11. The company announced that the plant will restart operations on March 23 and resume lithium-ion battery production on March 28.

Hitachi group: Developing lithium-ion batteries that cost one third and give three-fold more capacity

 Hitachi is striving to develop lithium-ion batteries that will reduce the cost to one third, have three-times more capacity, and therefore increase cost performance at least ten times. The company is resorting to a collective effort of all group companies, including Hitachi Vehicle Energy, to re-examine the composition and shape of the electrodes, cell structures, fabricating processes etc., to finalize the battery fabrication technology by the end of 2012, and to establish realistic plans of commercialization and volume production in 2013.
 Hitachi will have batteries of higher cost performance that will attract more orders for automotive batteries, and also seek new applications in such industrial areas as the next-generation smart grid and construction machinery.

Source: Nihon Keizai Newspaper 2011.3.3

Hitachi group: Lithium-ion battery lineup

  LIB-II LIB-III LIB-IV For use of PHEV/EV
  Supplied for CV Supplied to GM Under development Under development
Capacity (Ah) 5.5 4.4 4.8 25.0
Specific Power (W/kg) 2,600 3,000 4,500 2,400
Specific Energy (Wh/kg) 66 61 72 120

Source: Exhibit at the 2nd International Rechargeable Battery Expo held in March 2011 (Note) The specific power of batteries is more critical for HEV as a greater instantaneous force is needed with fewer batteries; while specific energy is more critical for EV as a longer driving range is needed.

 



Toshiba: Starting volume production at Kashiwazaki plant to supply batteries to Mitsubishi Motors and Honda

 A new plant in Kashiwazaki was completed in September 2010 and volume production of lithium-ion SCiB batteries started in February 2011. This is in addition to the Saku plant that began operation in March 2008.

Toshiba: Kashiwazaki plant completed in September 2010

 In addition to the Saku plant that began operation in March 2008, Toshiba's Kashiwazaki plant was completed in September 2010 and volume production started there in February 2011. Production started with initial monthly capacity of 500,000 cells of the 20Ah type for EV use. The plant's capacity is to be increased to over 1 million cells per month before the end of the FY2011 and to 2.5 to 3 million cells in the future.

Source: Toshiba press release 2010.9.29

 Toshiba has been co-developing lithium-ion batteries for EV use with VW since February 2009. The batteries will be supplied to Mitsubishi Motors and Honda as well. Toshiba is also engaged in joint development of lithium-ion batteries for HEV with Fiat and Scania.

Toshiba: Supplying batteries for Honda's Fit EV concept and electric motorcycles

 Toshiba will supply SCiB batteries for Honda's Fit EV concept that will have a maximum speed of 144km/h and EV range of 160km or longer (announced by Honda in December 2010).
 Toshiba's lithium-ion rechargeable SCiB batteries were chosen by Honda for EV-neo, Honda's electric motorcycles for fleet use that was released for leasing in December 2010. The basic vehicle is sold for ¥455,000 (tax inclusive) and runs 34km per full charge (tested on a proving ground at 30km/h). The batteries are fully charged from zero level in 30 minutes using a quick charger.

Source: Toshiba press release 2010.4.13, Honda press releases 2010.12.16/2010.12.20

Supplying batteries for Mitsubishi Motors' mini commercial EV

 Toshiba will supply lithium-ion SCiB batteries for the mini commercial EV being launched by Mitsubishi Motors in 2011 at the earliest. The mini commercial EV runs approximately 100km per charge and a demand is expected in the urban distribution activities such as courier service operators. Mitsubishi Motors currently receives supply of batteries for the i-MiEV from Lithium Energy Japan in which it has a share of 8.3%, but reportedly plans to increase the number of suppliers to reduce costs.
Source: Toshiba press release 2010.7.2, Automotive News 2011.2.7
(Notes) 1. In February 2009, Toshiba agreed to a joint development with VW regarding motors and other drive units, electronics and lithium-ion batteries of high specific energy density to be used on the EV based on a small car that VW calls NSF (New Small Family).
2. Toshiba is a late comer in terms of automotive lithium-ion batteries (launched SCiB in December 2007) but the company reportedly is receiving a growing number of orders for the SCiB because of the outstanding safety (rare short-circuiting), long life (more than 6,000 charge and recharge cycles), quick rechargeability (over 90% charge in 5 minutes) and specific power normally expected from electric double-layer capacitors).

 



Mitsubishi Heavy Industries: Volume production proving plant completed in November 2010 to supply batteries for electric buses

 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has been engaged since 1998 in a joint development of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries MLiX with the Kyushu Electric Power Company. In November 2010, a volume production proving plant of the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries was completed within the premises of the Nagasaki shipbuilding yard. The company plans to build a larger volume production plant starting sometime in 2011 at the earliest according to the market trends in Japan and overseas.

 MHI supplied lithium-ion batteries for the proving vehicles of electric buses being tested in February to March 2011 by the cities of Kyoto and Aomori, respectively.

 MHI's existing batteries are meant for stationary use or for EV. The company exhibited high-power type MLiX batteries primarily meant for HEV at the 2nd Int'l Rechargeable Battery Expo held in March 2011.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries: Volume production proving plant completed in Nagasaki in November 2010

 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' volume production proving plant was completed in November 2010 within the premises of MHI's Nagasaki shipbuilding yard. The ¥10 billion plant began volume production with an annual capacity of 66MWh (equivalent of approx. 400,000 batteries) in December to prove the line operating rate and battery performances. The company plans to start construction of another volume production plant of a higher capacity sometime in 2011.
 The batteries will be used initially on industrial machines such as forklifts and cranes and as emergency power sources at wind-powered or solar-powered facilities. MHI also faces demand within its corporate organization. Samples have been shipped to several automakers as well and MHI will make decisions according to their demand.

Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries press release 2010.11.18, Nihon Keizai Newspaper 2010.10.19

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries: Supplying batteries for large-sized proving EV buses
 In February 2011, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the city of Kyoto conducted a joint proving test regarding EV bus operation powered by lithium-ion batteries. The results from the proving test will be used to develop a volume production prototype EV bus during FY2011.The company will test it in a new proving test in FY2012 and put the bus to commercial operation if all goes well. A similar proving test is scheduled in March in the city of Aomori.

Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries press release 2010.9.2 (Note) In October 2009, MHI began selling hybrid forklifts powered by a diesel engine and the combination of lithium-ion batteries and motor. In addition, the company unveiled an EV forklift, powered by lithium-ion battery rather than the lead storage battery as in the previous model, at the 2nd Int'l Rechargeable Battery Expo held in March 2011.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries: MLiX cell specifications

  Current Products High Power Product (under development)
MLiX50 MLiX Strong 40 MLiX Slim 20 MLiX Petit 12
Weight kg 1.4 1.4 0.8 0.5
Nominal Capacity Ah 50 40 20 12
Nominal Voltage V 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.7
Energy Density Wh/kg 132 106 100 90
Wh/L 264 211 185 152
Maximum Current continuous A 100 150 100 50
10 seconds A 300 500 300 160
Size (W x D x H) mm 110 x 38 x 155.5 110 x 38 x 155.5 110 x 28 x 121 110 x 38 x 67

Source: Exhibit at 2nd International Rechargeable Battery Expo held in March 2011

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