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Report: Battery Suppliers for i-MiEV Boosting Production Plans by 50%

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.


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Mitsubishi is leading the volume race this year but others will also deliver in 2010.

9000 from Mitsubishi
2000 from GM Volt (1 nov and on)
1000 from Tesla
1000 from Bentz (testing EV Smarts)
2000 hopefully from Fisker (1 sep and on)
1000 from Think City (just guessing could be larger)
1000 from Nissan (1 dec and on could be much larger)

17000 EVs in total for 2010.

For 2009 it must have been about 3500 in total with 1000 from Tesla, 1700 from Mitsubishi and 500 from BMW and possibly 300 from others. For 2011 by bet is 40000 from Nissan, 18000 from Mitsubishi and 16000 from GM and hopefully also 5000 to 10000 from Fisker.

There have been many false starts for the EV industry but this time is different. The key moment was in 2008 when Tesla delivered the proof that EVs with competitive performance are doable. They started this race more than any other player.


Very good news. Big players like Mitsubishi tend to err on the conservative side of sales projections - to avoid the embarrassment of being wrong. An UPWARD revision of 50% more battery production bodes well for the first Year of the EV.

As Henrik points out, 2010 will have small numbers because most EVs are not beginning sales until 3rd or 4th quarter. And there are wildcards like Fisker. All in all however this is very positive.

And hat tip to Henrik for his acknowledgment of Tesla. There's was an audacious plan. Use standard consumer electronics batteries to power a hot, fast sports car and prove that electric vehicles were viable and cool. Their plan has worked well so far. If the Tesla S, is anywhere near as good or better than the sports car - it will be a home run. This could be fun.


Hope that you are both right for 2010/11 and beyond.

By 2012+, better battery performance and lower mass production price will promote the arrival a lighter, lower cost BEVs with more and more e-range.

By 2015+, BEVs will compete favorably with many (not all) ICE units.

By 2020+, we should see the progressive accellerated decline of ICE units in favour of lower cost, cleaner, electrified units.

Meanwhile, PHEVs will also play an important transition role for longer range units for the next 10+ years or until such times as batteries performance an price have both changed by at least +3x and -3x respectively.

Very interesting decade ahead.


It's happening already. They're selling them as fast as they can make them.

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