Hitachi To Boost Lithium Ion Battery Output; Supply Batteries To GM For HEVs

July 01, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Hitachi Ltd. announced that it will sharply raise production capacity for lithium-ion batteries (as much as 70-fold by 2015) in order to meet what it describes as a growing demand for gas-electric cars. The company also announced that it will supply lithium-ion batteries to General Motors Corp. in 2010 for use in GM’s hybrid vehicles.

Hitachi currently makes 40,000 lithium-ion batteries per month and will increase the capacity to three million units.

"We plan to boost our production capacity for lithium-ion batteries as we expect demand for hybrid vehicles will continue to grow worldwide," said Hitachi spokesman Shinya Yamada.

Media reports state that Hitachi will invest between 20 to 30 billion yen ($311 million max) to raise production capacity. However, Yamada declined to confirm the reports.

Related to the increased production, Hitachi announced that it will start supplying lithium-ion batteries to GM, stating that GM will utilize them in the 100,000 hybrids it plans to put on the market next year.