Nikkei. Sanyo Electric plans to raise monthly production of NiMH batteries for hybrid vehicles from the current 1 million units to up to 2.5 million by the end of fiscal 2005. (Each hybrid battery pack can contain hundreds of batteries; the Ford Escape hybrid battery uses 250 cells, for example.)
Sanyo currently supplies NiMH batteries to Ford and Honda, and is seeing growing demand on surging hybrid vehicle use, even—surprisingly to some Euro automakers—in Europe. Ford has been persistent in pushing for higher levels of battery production from Sanyo.
In addition, Sanyo is developing next-generation lithium-ion batteries and hopes to strengthen ties with automakers before they begin switching to that technology. Through these moves, Sanyo aims to double its share of the hybrid car battery market to 50% in five years.
The company manufactures the batteries at a plant in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, and one in Tianjin, China, and assembles them at a factory in Sumoto, Hyogo Prefecture. It recently spent several billion yen to upgrade assembly lines to increase production.