Jul 21, 2008

Next Generation Lithium Ion Batteries - Reprint from Reuters

Japan firms to work out next-gen car battery norms
Sat Jul 19 06:08:56 UTC 2008

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co and other Japanese companies will work together to set up common standards for lithium-ion batteries being developed to power next-generation cars, the Nikkei business daily said on Saturday.

Under the lead of an organization affiliated with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, nine car and motorcycle makers, six battery makers and utility Tokyo Electric Power Co will come up with a draft of the standards covering testing and charging methods, vehicle safety and other areas.

The group aims to pitch its specifications to the International Organization for Standardization with the goal of creating a global standard for lithium-ion batteries, the paper said.

Lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in laptop computers and mobile phones today, are seen as a key component to improve the performance of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid cars.

Creating a common standard would help the companies cut development costs and gain an edge over overseas rivals.

Carmakers Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Corp each have a joint venture to develop and produce lithium-ion batteries for car use with Matsushita Electric, the NEC Corp group and GS Yuasa Corp, respectively.

Major automakers, including Detroit's General Motors Corp, are in a tight race to bring fuel-efficient, zero-emissions electric vehicles to market as consumers increasingly shun record-high fuel prices.

GM, which is heavily promoting the upcoming Chevrolet Volt electric car, is set to announce next week a partnership with U.S. utilities to prepare for the widespread sale of plug-in electric cars, people familiar with the plans have said.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

1 comment:

  1. The best transportation philosophy for the world is to have more than one means of power.

    Reusable batteries are key to electric power but Nickel Metal Hydride batteries have not shown the performance that Lithium Ion can provide.

    Good to see this combined approach to seek excellence in performance. Nissan to date is heavily pushing electric power but no doubt Toyota will not be far behind. Let's just hope that GM continues it's electric car initiative although $40k for the Volt seems a bit high