Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa to Establish Joint Venture to Manufacture Lithium-ion Batteries for EVs and PHEVs
|The new 3.7 V, 50 Ah LEV50 cells.|
Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and GS Yuasa Corporation are establishing a joint venture (JV) company to manufacture large-capacity, high-performance Lithium-ion batteries that can be used in electric vehicles (EV). The three partners aim to complete the details of the deal and set up the new company sometime within the next 6 months.
Mitsubishi Motors will use the batteries in its next-generation EV i MiEV (i Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle), which it plans to introduce to the market by 2010. (Earlier post.) The new JV company will also supply the batteries to other automakers for EV and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) applications and for energy storage use in industrial applications.
|Mitsubishi Motors’ i MIEV. Click to enlarge.|
The 3.7 V, 50 Ah LEV50 cells from the new company are based on the LIM series of large-format Lithium-ion batteries manufactured by GS Yuasa (currently the only mass producer of large-format Lithium-ion batteries in Japan). The partners will work to enhance the cell-structure and electrode materials to deliver improved energy and power densities.
GS Yuasa is expected to own a 51% share of the new company, with MC and MMC owing 34% and 15% respectively. The new company’s headquarters will be located within GS Yuasa's Kyoto head office. During the first stage of development, ¥3 billion (US$25 million) will be invested to install automated mass production lines within GS Yuasa’s Kyoto head office plant, capable of manufacturing 200,000 cells per year. Operations are slated to commence by 2009.
GS Yuasa, with 2006 revenues of more than US$2 billion, was established as holding company in April 2004. It has 87 subsidiaries and 45 affiliates which participate in the businesses of storage batteries, power supply systems, lighting equipment, specialty and other electric equipment.
The company has worked with Mitsubishi Electric on a number of products in the past.