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Hitachi Develops Fourth-Generation, High Power Automotive Lithium-Ion Battery with 4,500 W/kg; Sampling to Start in the Fall

The fourth-generation power cell. Click to enlarge.

Hitachi, Ltd. and Hitachi Vehicle Energy, Ltd., which develops and manufactures lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications, have developed a lithium-ion battery having a power density of 4,500 W/kg—1.7 times the output of the company’s current generation of mass-produced, automotive lithium-ion batteries. (Earlier post.)

Sampling of the new battery by domestic and overseas car manufacturers will start in the fall.

To reduce internal resistance, the battery employs a new manganese cathode and an original Hitachi battery structure, such as thinner electrodes, power collection method and configurations to achieve the output level.

In 2000, Hitachi began the development and then mass production of lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications. It is currently delivering a second-generation lithium-ion battery with an power density of 2,600 W/kg for automotive and railway applications. Hitachi has delivered a total of some 600,000 cells up to this point, mainly to car manufacturers and railway companies.

Hitachi has already completed development of a third-generation lithium-ion battery having an even higher power density (3,000 W/kg) which will go into mass-production in 2010, with deliveries scheduled to begin the same year. The battery set to start sampling this fall has been developed as a fourth-generation lithium-ion battery that is even smaller and lighter. 

Going forward, in addition to this lineup of stand-alone battery cell products, Hitachi will provide battery system solutions that include control systems.

The new battery will be on display at the Automotive Engineering Exposition 2009 held at PACIFICO Yokohama from 20-22 May.



For comparison, the NiMH cells in the Prius battery are rated at 1,300 W/kg (although the engineers limit power output to ~750 W/kg, or 21 kW total at the pack level).

That same power output could be had from just 5 kg of the new Hitachi batteries, so probably a good match for mild hybrids.


This may be more good news for future PHEVs and BEVs. More competition the better.

Terrific power density for quick charge/discharge capabilities. Does anybody know what the Energy Density and number of cycles will be?


Hello Harvey (again),

Back in 2-June, 2008 Hitachi stated 75Wh/kg (unimpressive):
"Specific power output @ 50% SOC is 2,400 W/kg and specific power input @ 50% SOC is 2,120 W/kg, said Tatsuo Horiba, Chief Engineer for HVE. A mock-up of a 3 kWh pack based on the new modules yielded a calculated specific energy of 75 Wh/kg, and specific power output @ 50% SOC of 2,250 W/kg."

I am tired of hearing about power density when energy density is really the short-coming.

Forget Lithium
Focus on Di-lithium Crystals instead, they are used to power space craft and you can buy them now with your credit card.


David R:

I agree with you. Why is the most essential performance ( Energy density) not mentionned? Is it becouse it is too low?

Capacitors can supply huge very short time Power.

A combination of super caps for short time power + quick charge-discharge and a slower charge-discharge very high Energy density battery may be required, at least until such time as batteries have evolved enough to do both.


What characteristics would mainstream cars need?

A high power density?

or a high energy density?

and what value of power or energy density is required for say a 200 mile range with a 60KW motor?

and how does enhancing a battery for either of these properties effect cycle life?

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