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Hitachi Consolidating All Automotive Li-ion Battery Activity to Hitachi Vehicle Energy Ltd.

Nikkei. As part of a reorganization effort designed to optimize its lithium-ion battery businesses, Hitachi will consolidate all its automotive battery work to Hitachi Vehicle Energy Ltd, its joint venture formed in 2004 with Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co. Ltd. and Hitachi Maxwell Ltd.

Hitachimodule
Hitachi Vehicle Energy Ltd. Li-ion cell and module. Click to enlarge.

On April 1, Hitachi launched an office to oversee groupwide lithium ion battery operations. Specifically, the office will search for ways to boost the efficient use of technologies and production facilities within the group. Automotive batteries will be consolidated to Hitachi Vehicle Energy Ltd., while consumer-use batteries for cell phones and other products will be concentrated at Hitachi Maxell Ltd.

The global lithium ion battery market currently totals around 1 trillion yen. [US$10 billion] Hitachi, which holds a roughly 30 billion yen share of the consumer-use market, aims to increase that to 65 billion yen in fiscal 2011. The company seeks to boost its share of the industrial-use market to 13 billion yen in fiscal 2015.

Hitachi is targeting sales of automotive lithium ion batteries of 100 billion yen [US$1 billion] by fiscal 2015. In 2008, it landed orders for Li-ion packs for hybrids from GM (earlier post) and Eaton (earlier post).

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