Panasonic Increases Automotive Lithium-ion Battery Production in Japan

1 month ago by Mark Kane 10

Panasonic lithium-ion battery cell

Panasonic has announced it will start production of automotive lithium-ion batteries at its factory in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, which so far had been producing only LCD panels.

The reason for launching the new production site in Japan, and increasing overall capacity, is the growing demand the company is now seeing for automotive batteries.

Panasonic also currently produces lithium-ion batteries in China and in U.S. (the latter with Tesla at its Gigafactory).

At the Himeji plant, Panasonic will produce prismatic automotive type cells, but unfortunately has yet to disclose which manufacturers have signed up to purchase the new capacity (one imagines it could be Toyota, given the strong reception to the new Prius Prime in Japan, and an all-electric vehicle coming soon).

“The global market for eco-conscious vehicles has been growing in response to stricter worldwide environmental regulations on automobiles as well as a variety of incentive measures for promoting eco-conscious vehicles. The world market for automotive batteries, which are essentially required for eco-conscious vehicles, is also growing rapidly, with increasing expectations from auto manufacturers on Panasonic, the leading manufacturer of automotive lithium-ion batteries.

Panasonic has been building up its production capacity of automotive batteries in Japan, the United States, and China. To further boost the capacity, the company has decided to produce prismatic automotive lithium-ion batteries at the Himeji factory, which currently produces LCD panels. The plan is to install a vertically integrated production line from the component process to the assembly of battery cells at the factory, aiming to start production in the fiscal year that ends in March 2020. The company will continue to make LCD panels at the factory.”

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10 responses to "Panasonic Increases Automotive Lithium-ion Battery Production in Japan"

  1. SJC says:

    Prismatic can overheat in the core.
    Fine for cellphones not so good for EVs.

    1. john Doe says:

      Depends on the thicknes, the surface area, and the amount of energy and what speed the energy fills or drains the battery.. among others.

      A normal unit like this has a huge surface area, and for an average EV they do the job.

      There is also another reason, as they are normally quicker to replace (cellblocks/units) in case of defects.
      Hopefulle after several years of use.
      Smaller cell batteries can also be quick to replace, depending on the battery layout (modular design for example).

      1. SJC says:

        The LEAF batteries are examples of cells that did not do well. They continue to inadequately cool them.

    2. JeremyK says:

      Handled by active cooling plates between the cells…unless you’re Nissan. http://www.hybridcars.com/2017-chevy-bolt-battery-cooling-and-gearbox-details/

  2. ffbj says:

    Yeah, Toyota is going to need lots of batteries when their new and only, up to this point, BEV comes out.
    I guess battery technology has now advanced to the needed level. Amazingly, overnight, now that Toyota plans an ev.
    Funny how that works.

    1. john1701a says:

      >> I guess battery technology has now advanced to the needed level. Amazingly, overnight, now that Toyota plans an ev.

      Is that like the “overnight” success of an artist who has been working hard for the past 20 years?

      Prius Prime offers EV driving up to 84 mph, complete with a high-efficiency electric heater and CHAdeMO charging. That sets the stage nicely for taking the next step. Looking closer at the new C-HR, you can see why it is expected to become their first BEV offering for China in 2019.

      In other words, that carefully planned progression is amazing… but in no way overnight. We have witnessed battery improvement from each hybrid upgrade leading to this point.

      1. ffbj says:

        They have changed their tune because they were forced to. They have no bev just the Prius which a laggard in terms of miles.

        Your comment is hardly accurate and not reflective of everything Toyota has said concerning the ev revolution.
        CHadeMo? I assume that was a joke, since that is what CHadeMo is.

        1. ffbj says:

          I mean hybrid since that’s what the Prius Prime is. No BEV only FCV hilarity.
          Your post is revisionist history.

      2. ffbj says:

        Vehicle Type: Cars, Four-Door Hatchback
        Drivetrain: PHEV
        Electric Range: 25 mi
        Total Range: 640 mi
        Top Speed: 84 mph (in EV-only mode)
        Number of Seats: 4
        Connector Type(s): J1772 (not CHadeMo)
        Price (USD): $27,100

        Btw it is slower than granny with a walker.

        1. john1701a says:

          CHAdeMO charging option is available in Japan.

          That’s what the blank spot next to the J1772 socket is for.

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