Most of the lithium ion batteries used in electric cars today are custom made or put together from batteries meant for some other use. Starting in the first half of 2009, the Japanese company Lithium Energy Japan will be producing new rechargeable high performance lithium ion batteries built specifically for automobiles. The company, which is co-owned by Mitsubishi motors, is building a new manufacturing plant in central Japan.
These batteries will have an improved cell-structure and new electrode materials designed to improve the energy and power density, and give them ten times the capacity of the batteries currently in hybrid electric vehicles. The plant will be able to manufacture 200,000 of the lithium ion batteries a year, each having an output of 3.7 volts each and weighing almost 4 pounds. It will be the first facility to produce lithium ion batteries on a large scale just for cars.
Mitsubishi plans for their new i MiEV (i Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) to be completely powered by the specially produced lithium ion batteries. They plan on introducing the i MiEV to the market by 2010.
Here’s the “Corporate Message” from Lithium Energy Japan’s website:
“Lithium Energy Japan” is a new company devoted to the development, manufacture and sale of large lithium-ion batteries. GS Yuasa joined forces with Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation to establish “Lithium Energy Japan” in December of 2007.
Developing environmentally-friendly EVs to contribute to greenhouse gas (CO2) reduction.
The key to the development of EVs is efficient, compact, and high-performance lithium-ion batteries. The potential uses of such batteries are not limited solely to EVs; they could be used throughout cities to help usher in a new, environmentally-friendly society. And realizing this ‘New Society’ is the goal of “Lithium Energy Japan” as it takes the lead worldwide in achieving mass production of large lithium-ion batteries. “Lithium Energy Japan” makes sure its research and development are always one step ahead, that its selection of products and production capacity is continually expanding, and that it remains a constant contributor to the expansion of the lithium-ion battery market.
Our mission is to use the lithium-ion battery in creating a ‘New Society’ where environmentally-friendly automobiles are widespread, such as EVs and plug-in hybrids, railways, and next-generation transportation which relies on energy regeneration systems and new energy systems, like solar and wind-power.