Imara, Honda, & GS Yuasa Make Li-Ion Battery - HEV Announcements

December 17, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Imara Corp., a research, design and manufacturing company that has developed next generation lithium-ion battery technology, officially launched and announced its plan to deliver U.S.-based energy storage solutions.

Imara states that its patented and proprietary battery technology breaks through current barriers of performance and energy capability, enabling new applications in hybrid vehicles, power tools, outdoor power equipment, specialty applications, and grid storage.

Formerly known as Lion Cells, Imara says it employs unique materials science technology to develop high-power, high-energy, extended cycle-life cells and packs that are environmentally-friendly.

The initial core technology, exclusively licensed from the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), was developed and funded in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the Partnership for the Next Generation Vehicle (PNGV) initiative. Imara’s technology has been demonstrated across multiple lithium-ion chemistries. It is being scaled to high-volume production and will be shipping by the 4th quarter of 2009.

"Imara’s advanced lithium-ion batteries will meet the future demands of hybrid electric vehicles for exceptional cycle-life, higher charge and discharge rates and higher energy density," said Imara Corp. CEO Jeff Depew. "Our batteries will also have a positive impact on our environment, enabling a reduction in smog and CO2 emissions emitted by everything from 2- and 4-stroke lawn and garden engines to today’s fuel-wasting SUVs."

GS Yuasa Corp. and Honda Motor Co., Ltd.announced that they have reached a basic agreement to establish a joint venture company which will manufacture, sell and conduct R&D for high-performance lithium-ion batteries for applications with a central focus on hybrid vehicles. The two companies will now begin concrete discussions with an aim to establish the new company sometime around spring 2009.

It is planned that the ratio of capital investment will be 51% by GS Yuasa and 49% by Honda. The headquarters of the new company is planned to be located in Minami-ku, Kyoto, and the factory is planned to be established within the property of GS Yuasa’s Osadano operation in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto.

The new company will manufacture batteries based on EH6, the lithium-ion battery developed by GS Yuasa.