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Report: GS Yuasa To Produce Batteries For Hybrid Cars

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that GS Yuasa plans to enter the hybrid vehicle market with NiMH and Li-ion batteries. The company is Japan’s largest manufacturer of lead-acid batteries.

The company will try to catch up with its competitors already active in the market, including Matsushita Electric and Sanyo.

GS Yuasa says that its batteries offer output densities 20-30% higher than that of similar batteries currently available, and offer several times the durability. The firm, which plans to mass-produce the batteries from 2010, is already in supply talks with carmakers.

GS Yuasa decided to enter the market after concluding that demand for hybrid car batteries will grow in the future given the increasing production by Toyota and other auto manufacturers. The company will target sales of ¥60-70 billion (US$521-608 million) from the batteries in 2015.


Bud Johns

Glad to see any major manufacturer getting into battery research and development, the more competition, the more likely the next breakthrough in battery development.


Speaking of new batteries, I saw the Dewalt lithium ion drill at Lowes this week. A123 actually delivered... I say that cynically because we hear of so many "breakthroughs" and so few ever pan out or make it to the market. This is good news. More power (no pun intended) to the battery manufacturers. Now put them in a hybrid!


A123, is this the nano tech battery that has more power
can be recharged more and charges faster?
COOL if it is. Wonder about any hybrud tests with this
battery. Should be lighter and more compact than lead acid.

Where does that put something like the Prius?


Here is a link to something that may tell us if these A123 batteries will really preform.


A potential boon to electric cars as well. I wish a US manufacturer who built them here would get in on the act! Just think how far the GM EV-1 would have come with Li-ion batteries. One of those could have been scenarios-


Those A123 batteries are claimed to be "intrinsically safe". I hope the end-users or OEMs know the I/S rating is worthless unless you get insurance from Factory Mutual...


Some electric car enthusiasts believe ChevronTexaco is limiting the worldwide development of hybrid electric and pure electric cars by controlling the production of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. The methology they use is as follows: Cobasys is a joint venture between ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures—a subsidiary of ChevronTexaco—and Energy Conversion Devices (Ovonics}—the original patent holder for NiMH batteries). Whenever another company attempts to bring large NiMH batteries to market, Cobasys, using the deep pockets of ChevronTexaco, suits for patent infringement, wins the case and then settles by court-ordered muting of the settlement details and limiting the size of batteries to less than 10 amp/hours of capacity; engineers believe that to make plug-in electric cars viable, it takes an 80-90 amp/hour NiMH battery system--enough capacity to drive at least 50 miles on batteries only. This may be why Toyota's Prius hasn't developed plug-in capability.

An expanded view of this subject is located at:


I don't know the exact date of the patents but I'm sure they have less than 10 years left before anyone can start using their methodology as much as they want.

Which reminds me, if the oil companies bought all these magical fuel saving patents, as many conspiracy theorists surmised back in the 70s and 80s, those patents are now expired. Now where are all the super-duper fuel saving technologies that the oil companies were said to have been stuffing away in dusty warehouses?

Anybody know who has patents on Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer technologies and whether or not those companies are owned by an oil company?


Anyone any knowledge of Electrovaya in Ontario. They are contributing battery technology to a Swedish (?) battery car developement.


As a matter of record, at the end of WWll, many trolly car lines and the electric cars were purchased by oil companies; the cars were crushed and the electrical power sources shut down. All this to move the nation toward motorcars, highways and gasoline. I don't doubt for one moment that the oil companies would wait one minute to control all areas of the nrg market.

As a matter of fact many of the oil companies (BP, Exxon, ChevronTexaco and Shell) are also deeply involved in the solar cell business. And just like NiMH batteries, there is a worldwide shortage of solar panels. Makes you wonder why the price of solar cells panels is so high and why the twenty year old solar cell business has been so slow in developing. I wish someone in the media would put a little time in researching this aspect of the energy market.

Bud Johns

It's been a while, so I can't remember where I read it, buy the trolly car thing is untrue. GM apparently had more to do with it, as they sold buses cheap, and it was simply more economical to do it with buses, as oil was very cheap too.


about a123, deWalt actually does sell their lithium-powered 36V tools now
450$ for hammer drill, i wonder what the cost of the battery alone is ? how soon will be see a deWalt-powered BEV prototypes ? :)


answering my own question, found the dewalt batteries for sale in many places for $150. $1500 for 360V battery pack, no idea on how many kWh's

Harvey D.

Here is a NO COST solution. If governments managed to reduce effective 'patent' protection to 17 years, why couldn't they reduce it by half (to 8.5 years) or even to 5 years for PHEV and EV battery packs over 10 KWh?

Since most advanced battery development and research have been financed with public money, justice would be served.


Sharp and several other companies with no interest in oil have big sales of solar panels. A business growing over twenty percent a year for decades is hardly being held back.

It just takes a long time. The business didn't exist 30 years ago. Even as it doubles every three or four years it still takes decades.

Ditto wind. Plus wind has to satisfy environmentalist and NIMBY.

Harvey. Sure! Encourage development by reducing patent protection. That will make companies invest more.

Chad Snyder

The trolly car thing is true, at least in the case of Los Angeles. Oil, tire, and automakers bought out the rail line and soon after built the 110 freeway. They envisioned the auto culture of today's Southern California back then - and they were right. It wasn't about cheaper technology, but about being more profitable - more oil, more tires, more cars.

While I would like to believe that NiMH batteries are being controlled by Texaco, I'm not so sure. I read a lot of investment news and I've read that there is a worldwide Nickel shortage that doesn't only affect hybrid batteries, but many other technologies.

Nonetheless, great thread.


You conspiracy / technology-suppression theorists drive me nuts! If you think Texaco is suppressing the production of NiMH batteries by using Cobasys, you don't understand the first thing about capitalism. And if you would like to believe that Texaco is controlling the world, write a fictional novel, but don't add to the noise about dark corporate forces controlling the world. And if you think the government should steal intellectual property by limiting patent protections, what's to keep them from confiscating other property or, what the heck, from taking your freedom?

Go back to Econ 101 and realize that corporations are about making money by bringing things to market, not about suppressing technology!

Stan Peterson

Well said, Roy.

I am amazed to hear how the world's largest manufacturers and facing a possible bankruptcies could be deterred from produing a 50 MPG hybrid if they could.

If it could produce a 200 MPEG it would save it, and let it dominate its industry. Oil companies have power ; so do those who oppose them.

That's the benefits of decentralized capitalism and the source of statist business weaknesses.

Conspiracy theorists are just insane.



Economics also talks about competition and if less of it brings you closer
to monopoly power you make more profits. That must have been in Econ 102.


Agreed the conspiracy theorists are insane. It actually all comes from a disire to systematically attack capitalism so as to establish the revolution of the proletariate, which then leads to immense and endless suffering and repression.

On a related topic what about the lawsuit of the University of Texas against the Lithium Ion batteries produced by A123 Any idea who will win that suit??

mr ojo

i need an orger for battery production

Robert Ackerlind

GM was a significant shareholder of Ovonics. It sold its share to Chevron after it decided it didn't like EVs and didn't want them posing a threat to the highly profitable internal combustion engine. They are heavily embedded into the US Advanced Battery Consortum and used their clout to censure Stanly Ovshinski and other inventors who had viable batteries; they didn't want them revealing these advances to the public in the 1990s. A123 and a few other Li Ion battery makers have as recently as this year been gobbled up by Chevron and the USABC. The USABC has also recently been used by the automakers in attempts to obtain government handouts, since they claim "the battery technology isn't there." The auto industry wants to pocket this money. Some suspect that since Altair Nanotechnologies and A123 have similar patents, that A123 will next be used to sue Altair to keep its batteries off the market.
Chevron Oil hates all things EV, and killed the battery needed for EVs.

The following is to the credit of C.W., but seems the exact truth and the reason plug-in EV batteries are not available.

BEV=Battery Electric Vehicle, one that can charge the large battery and run on it.

HEV=Hybrid Electric Vehicle, wwith a battery too small to plug in and restricted to getting all of its energy ultimately entirely from gasoline.

10 A/H = at most 5 kWh, too small to plug in. Batteries larger than 10 A/H are called "large format", and those were the target Chevron seems to have hated and prohibited, with its $180M investment to buy up distribution patent rights on the batteries.

"...Vectrix gets [large-format NiMH batteries] from Gold Peak in China. They are 30Ah NiMH batteries...there is one -- and I believe only one -- NiMH battery manufacturer which is actually permitted to produce large-format NiMH batteries for BEVs
sold in the US market under license from Cobasys, and that is Gold Peak.

"Chevron's subsidiary Cobasys controls the exclusive worldwide patent
licensing rights on NiMH batteries. Cobasys is sometimes referred to
as a 'joint venture' between Chevron and ECD Ovonics, which indeed it *is*. But Chevron put up 100% of the $180 million investment
capital to create Cobasys; none came from ECD Ovonics. Cobasys is not carried on ECD Ovonics' books. It is carried entirely on Chevron's books as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron.

"As the originator of the key NiMH patent portfolio, ECD Ovonics *does*
however receive profit share from the production of Cobasys' own NiMH batteries as well as a share of the royalties from the production of NiMH batteries by Cobasys' licensees. The top executives of Cobasys come from Chevron and are clearly in the driver's seat. There is no doubt that Chevron is the one that is
calling the shots at Cobasys. A senior Chevron executive was quoted
off-the-record 6 months ago as saying that Chevron was determined not to go down the BEV path again and never to let that happen again
in the automotive industry, at least not with NiMH batteries..."

"Every NiMH battery manufacturer in the world must be licensed by Cobasys and can only produce NiMH batteries under Cobasys license, a de-facto
monopolistic (albeit legal) syndicate that has been repeatedly adjudicated,
upheld, and enforced by courts and arbitration bodies around the world.
Cobasys has around 30 NiMH licensees at present. Its entangling web of licenses with its various licensees could only be described as
Byzantine in its dizzying complexity, with numerous categories of restrictions
including geographic market segment (Asia vs. North America vs. Europe),
application category (consumer electronics vs. automotive propulsion), sub-
application classes within application categories (HEV vs. BEV), and even battery
capacity (<10Ah vs. >10Ah). Some of these licenses pre-date Chevron's involvement and were negotiated back in the early and mid 90s by
Cobasys' predecessor, Ovonics, which controlled the patent licensing rights
before Chevron bailed Ovonics out of its deep, steep recurrent losses and
supplied all the capital to create Cobasys. Chevron of course had to honor
those older licenses, which are grandfathered. What this means in practical terms
is that the oldest licensees have the most liberal and unrestricted conditions.

"Newer licensees, many of them in Asia, are restricted to making NiMH batteries only for consumer electronics applications and are specifically
prohibited from making any batteries for automotive propulsion (whether HEV
or BEV). Slightly older licensees are permitted to make propulsion batteries but only for HEV applications and not for BEV
applications, often
distinguished by the batteries' capacity: <10Ah vs. >10Ah. Others
may be permitted to make BEV batteries but only for other geographical markets and
not for BEVs that will be sold in North America.

"European battery
makers Saft and Varta (the latter now a subsidiary of Wisconsin-based Johnson
Controls) are two of the older European licensees which seem to have somewhat less restrictive licenses, which however do not permit them to sell BEV batteries into the US market. Gold Peak is one of the oldest
Cobasys licensees (inherited and grandfathered from Ovonics), if not *the*
oldest, and I believe is the only one that is actually permitted to make large-format NiMH batteries (>10Ah) for BEVs that will be sold in the US, such as the high-performance, highway-capable Vectrix electric motorcycle.

"Sanyo and Panasonic, two of Cobasys' Japanese licensees, are permitted to make HEV batteries (<10Ah) for HEVs sold in the US but not BEV
batteries (>10Ah) for BEVs sold in the US. There is only one small exception
to that, specifically in the case of Panasonic, which came out of the patent
infringement lawsuit that Panasonic lost to Cobasys in an international court of arbitration in June 2004. In that June 2004 judgment, and as subsequently amended in July 2005, Panasonic is permitted to manufacture new
EV-95 95Ah NiMH batteries solely for existing Toyota RAV-EVs that experience
battery failures, under warranty, and only under warranty, until the
last of those warranties expire, on September 14, 2008, at which time Panasonic is no longer permitted to produce *any* EV-95 batteries or any NiMH
battery with a capacity greater than 10Ah until January 1, 2015."

Brian OH

To say as some have that the capitalist system and
suppression of efficient technology are mutually
exclusive is just plain silly. I do agree that
restrictions on patent lifespan etc. would be rather
risky, but when patents are used to withhold technology
that the world needs, perhaps an exception needs to be
made. Depending how that was drafted, it could be a
good thing for the capitalist system. The Ovonics/
Chevron thing may be an example. There may be many
more. The capitalist system is good in theory, but so
is the socialist system. Implementation is everything.

jack marchand


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Jack Marchand —Dual mode maglev Inventor

jack marchand


its coming — finally the’re listening

check these web sites,

Jack Marchand —Dual mode maglev Inventor

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