Sekisui Chemical says it is on track to manufacture material that will allow production of thin, cheap, long-range batteries for electric cars by 2015.
The company announced Tuesday that the new silicon-based material for use in lithium ion batteries could result in batteries that deliver a driving range of about 370 miles -- roughly equivalent to how far a typical car can go on a full tank of gas but at a much lower cost.
As a point of comparison, Tesla's Model S with the largest capacity battery delivers about 300 miles driving at a speed of 55 mph.
Maybe more importantly, the new material can bring battery production costs down to just above 30,000 yen ($290) per kilowatt-hour, a decrease of more than 60 percent from around 100,000 yen ($976) today, according to a report in Nikkei.
This could result in cutting electric car prices to the level of gasoline-powered cars, according to Nikkei, citing an official at a major Japanese automaker.
The news drove Sekisui Chemical's stock price in Japan to to its highest level since 1996, according to a Bloomberg report.
Sekisui's announcement on its Japanese-language Web page cites the "value" characteristics of the new battery tech, including the promise of a lithium ion battery that is about one-third the weight of a conventional electric car battery, allowing for a highly-compact car battery.
The Japanese company plans to begin sample shipments to battery manufacturers by summer 2014 at the earliest, with mass production slated for 2015.