50 Million More Battery Units per Month
With the progressive electrification of transportation (from hybrids to plug-in hybrids to electric cars), one thing the world will need more of is batteries. Matsushita, who owns the Panasonic brand and has a partnership with Toyota for the development of automotive technologies, has decided to invest 100 billion Yen ($951 million) into a new litium-ion manufacturing plant in Osaka. It will be one of the biggest in the world, allowing the company to triple its output an increase of 50 million battery units per month.
Thankfully, most modern lithium-ion batteries used in vehicles are non-toxic and recyclable, and over the life of a car, they can help save enormous quantities of non-renewable fossil fuels and reduce smog-forming emissions substantially. Not perfect, but better than what we have now.
The new plant should start operations in 2010 (which is pretty fast for such a huge undertaking).
Of the global market, Sanyo, Sony and Matsushita Battery command a combined share of about 70 percent. Other competitors include Samsung SDI Co. and LG Chem, Ltd., both based in South Korea, and BYD Co., based in China.
But if the future of transportation really is electric, there could be a problem down the road because there's almost no battery production in North-America as far as we know.
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More on Matsushita's New Lithium-Ion Battery Factory
Matsushita set to build battery plant in Osaka
Matsushita to triple capacity with new lithium ion battery plant