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Hitachi Chemical to double production capacity of carbon anode materials for Li-ion automobile batteries

Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. will invest some ¥3.5 billion (US$44.8 million) to add third and fourth production lines manufacturing carbon anode materials for lithium-ion automotive batteries at Yamazaki Works. Hitachi Chemical aims to begin operating these new lines in September 2012.

For use in motor vehicles, Hitachi Chemical has developed graphite-based anode materials with high capacity density and discharge efficiency for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) with a focus on extending range. It has also developed amorphous carbon anode materials with good input characteristics for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). Hitachi Chemical’s anode materials for vehicles have been adopted by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. for use in the LEAF as well as by other customers in Japan and overseas.

Hitachi Chemical is now producing anode materials for vehicles at the first line that began operations in April last year and at the second line from January this year. Production rate was rising as of July 2011.

For the two new production lines, the emergency response mechanisms at the facility will be strengthened and quake resistant equipment also enhanced. Thus, not only the production capacity will double but also any recovery period can be shortened in the event of a massive earthquake. Hitachi Chemical says it plans to make significant periodic increases in capacity over the next few years in response to future growth in the market for anode materials for vehicles.

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