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Report: Lithium Energy Japan to hike battery output 70%

The Nikkei reports that Lithium Energy Japan, the joint venture beween GS Yuasa Corp., Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will build a plant to boost production capacity by 70%. The new Lithium Energy Japan factory will be capable of producing 4.4 million lithium-ion battery cells a year, or enough to power 50,000 electric vehicles.

Lithium Energy Japan is currently manufacturing automotive lithium ion batteries at small factories in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, and the city of Kyoto. Their combined output capacity is only enough for about 18,000 vehicles annually. But the overall figure is expected to climb to 70,000 once the plant under construction kicks off operations in April.

With the second plant entering the picture, the company’s total output capacity will rise to enough for equipping 120,000 EVs a year. Lithium Energy Japan has been supplying its output to Mitsubishi Motors and the PSA Peugeot Citroen Group of France.


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Bigger battery factories are required to lower battery prices. Mitsubishi’s factory will do 50,000 *16kWh = 800,000 kWh. However, the battery factory that Nissan has build in Japan now makes 90,000*24kwh = 2,160,000 kWh per year and the battery factory that Nissan is currently building in USA is rated at 200,000*24kWh = 4,800,000 kWh per year and will start its production at year end 2012. A relatively weak USD compared to the Yen will also ensure lower costs at Nissan’s US factory and hopefully allow Nissan to sell the Leaf at a profit for substantially less that the current price of 35,000 USD.

Anyway it is good to see that Nissan/Renault is not the only auto maker in the world that is getting serious about battery production. Mitsubishi is also buying battery packs from Toshiba (the high power, ‘unbreakable’ lithium titanium oxide batteries) so we should expect over 120000 EVs from the Mitsubishi/Citroen/ Peugeot alliance in a few years.


Hi Henrik
Any idea what they are intending to do with the 90,000 battery packs produced in Japan as leaf car production in Japan is only about 50,000 a year.
Are these for Renault's?


Checking around the planned Renault battery plant at Flins is now delayed to 2014 from 2012 so they will be using the excess Japanese output no doubt, and are also buying in from outside suppliers with LG being their second source.

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I am sure Renault takes most of the batteries that Nissan does not use in the production of the Leaf. Some batteries are also used for testing future vehicles including a range of battery powered forklifts that Nissan also is developing and that will replace the use of swappable lead acid batteries for forklifts.


This is very good news for future lower cost HEVs-PHEVs and BEVs. A worldwide battery surplus could be good for electrified vehicles buyers.


I would prefer if they built 540,000 4 KwH battery packs for PHEVs rather than 90,000 24 KwH packs for BEVs.

You would save a lot more fuel and CO2.
6 PHEvs would save a lot more fuel than 1 BEV.


mahonj:...I'm with you but would prefer 6 x 4Kwh plug-in battery modules and let the ends users decide how many modules to buy or rent.

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