The Nikkei reports that Panasonic Corp. is considering expanding production of lithium ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles to China.
The electronics manufacturer has been making automotive lithium ion batteries solely at its Kasai and other Japanese plants. It has relied exclusively on domestic production because of the technological sophistication required in making the batteries, which need to be durable and offer higher capacities than lithium ion batteries used in personal computers, mobile phones and other devices.
With major customers such as Germany’s Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp. signaling plans to produce hybrids and EVs in China, Panasonic has decided to set up a supply system there.
According to the Nikkei, Panasonic is ranked first in the automotive Li-ion market, and has a 20-plus percent share of the total global market for all types of lithium-ion batteries.