The Nikkei reports that GS Yuasa Corp. and others will boost production of large lithium ion batteries for Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s i-MiEV electric car by 50% from previous plans.
GS Yuasa, Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Corp. are partners in Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture set up to develop, manufacture and sell large lithium ion batteries. With batteries for 2,000 cars produced in fiscal 2009 at its Shiga Prefecture factory, the initial plan was to boost productivity in order to make batteries for 6,000 cars in fiscal 2010. This has now been upwardly revised to churn out enough for 7,000 cars.
Meanwhile, GS Yuasa itself will manufacture batteries for the i-MiEV at its Kyoto factory from year-end. The plan is to make enough for 2,000 cars in fiscal 2010, which when combined with the output from Lithium Energy Japan adds up to batteries for 9,000 cars—50% more than the original fiscal 2010 production plans.
Orders for the i-MiEV, which begins general sales in Japan this April, have been so good that the automaker decided to increase its planned output of the vehicle, according to the report. The planned increases in battery production would begin their supply in line with the higher i-MiEV production.