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Sanyo wants 40% of global green car battery market by 2021

Automotive News reports on Sanyo's plans to sell batteries for electric cars.

Ford Fusion Hybrid
Ford claims that its electric component allows the Fusion Hybrid to operate on all-electric motivation up to 47 mph. After making more than a few city trips without ever igniting the gasoline engine, we're inclined to believe them.
Josh P. Miller/CNET

TOKYO--Sanyo Electric Co., which makes hybrid-vehicle batteries for Ford and Honda, forecasts an eightfold increase in global demand for cars with electrified drive trains by 2021, to around 11 million vehicles.

The Japanese electronics company is targeting a 40 percent share of the global market for electric and hybrid batteries by that time.

As part of the push, Sanyo will open a second lithium ion battery plant in July in the western Japanese city of Kasai, spokeswoman Reina Mito said. It will have initial capacity for 1 million cells, rising to 1.3 million next year when a second line is added.

Ford Fusion Hybrid
Sanyo supplies the nickel-metal hydride batteries for the Ford Fusion. Josh P. Miller/CNET

Sanyo did not say how many vehicles Kasai could supply. But it could be enough lithium ion batteries for 195,000 hybrid vehicles a year, judging by the output of its Tokushima factory.

The Tokushima plant, which opened last year, was Sanyo's first plant for manufacturing lithium ion batteries for cars. It has enough capacity for 100,000 cells a month, or enough for 15,000 hybrid vehicles a year. There are roughly 80 cells per battery pack.

Sanyo has agreements to supply Volkswagen, Audi, and Suzuki with lithium ion batteries. And it already is supplying Ford and Honda hybrid vehicles with older-generation nickel-metal hydride batteries. Sanyo has also agreed to cooperate on development of nickel-metal hydride batteries with Volkswagen, Audi and France's PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Sanyo is one of Japan's top hopefuls in the emerging green car battery business. In its midterm business plan announced last month, it targeted a 40 percent share of the global battery market for hybrids, electric vehicles and plug-ins by 2021.That goal includes volume for nickel-metal hydride and lithium ion batteries.

Sanyo recently was bought by Panasonic Corp., which runs a separate battery joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp. called Panasonic EV Energy Co. Mito said Sanyo and Panasonic are still discussing how to integrate their battery businesses.

(Source: Automotive News)