GS Yuasa will shift its focus from hybrids to enter the market for electric-vehicle batteries as early as next year, according to a report from the Nikkei. The battery maker recently formed a department for the project, bringing in engineers from its hybrid and plug-in hybrid operations, according to the report.
GS Yuasa makes batteries for standard and plug-in hybrids through Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture with partners including Mitsubishi Corp., and Blue Energy, a venture with Honda Motor. The manufacturer also plans to work with partners on EV batteries.
Automotive lead-acid batteries are GS Yuasa’s mainstay product, for which it holds the largest share of the Japanese market by far, covering roughly 70% of new vehicles. The company also has made more than 1.4 million lithium-ion batteries for hybrids since 2009.
In April, GS Yuasa Corporation announced that it had been selected for the NEDO Green Innovation Fund’s Next-Generation Storage Battery project.
he Green Innovation Fund was established by NEDO (the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) to play a central role in Japan’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. The aim of the fund is to provide long-term ongoing support for green innovation projects implemented by corporations, from the R&D and verification testing stages through to practical application.
GS Yuasa has been utilizing its proprietary high-performance solid electrolytes to work on the development of an all-solid-state battery with performance that surpasses that of conventional storage batteries. Funding from the Green Innovation Fund will help to accelerate the development and commercialization of the new battery.
GS Yuasa’s development targets for the project include:
Development of a solid electrolyte that combines high ionic conductivity with excellent water resistance.
Development of high-capacity positive electrodes with low cobalt content.
Development of negative electrodes with high capacity and long-life performance.
Development of cell design and manufacturing processes that facilitate mass production.