|The new join venture will work from the basis of the GS Yuasa EH6 power cell. Click to enlarge.|
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and GS Yuasa have agreed to establish a joint venture company which will manufacture, sell and conduct R&D for high-power lithium-ion batteries with a central focus on applications in hybrid electric vehicles. The two companies aim to establish the new company sometime around spring 2009. This will be GS Yuasa’s second Li-ion joint venture with a major automaker.
The new company will manufacture batteries based on GS Yuasa’s 6Ah-class prismatic Li-ion EH6 cell. The new venture will explore modifying the cathode materials and cell structure to optimize performance for next-generation hybrid vehicles.
|Boost and regen characteristics of the EH6 cell as a function of SOC at 25° C. Click to enlarge.|
The EH6, which Masanori Kitamura from GS Yuasa presented at AABC 2008 earlier this year, is a 3.7V, 6Ah cell with a LiNiCoMnO2 cathode and carbon anode. Specific energy for the cell is 67.1 Wh·kg-1, and volumetric energy density is 114.3 Wh·L-1.
The cell can provide 10 seconds of boost power at 50% SOC of 1.2 kW (3,600 W·kg
at 25° C. One second assist and regenerative power in the 20-70% SOC range is 1 kW.
GS Yuasa will hold 51% of the new venture, and Honda 49%. The headquarters of the new company is planned to be located in Minami-ku, Kyoto, and the factory is planned to be established within the property of GS Yuasa’s Osadano operation in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto.
In 2007, GS Yuasa Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) officially launched a joint venture—Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ)—to manufacture large-capacity and high-performance lithium-ion batteries targeted for EVs. (Earlier post.) GS Yuasa is also the majority shareholder in that JV with 51%; MC holds 34% and MMC holds the remaining 15%. Initial production is targeted at 200,000 cells in fiscal year 2009.
The basic LEJ cell is the 50Ah-class LEV50, based on GS Yuasa’s LIM series of Li-ion batteries, but with modifications in cell-structure and electrode materials to deliver improved energy and power densities.