Sanyo, Volkswagen, and Toyota Announce Developments On The HEV Li-Ion Battery Front

June 19, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. and the VOLKSWAGEN Group have agreed to start co-development of next generation Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery systems for Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV).

"We are pleased that Volkswagen has chosen to co-develop next generation Li-ion HEV battery systems with SANYO," SANYO Vice President Mitsuru Honma, said of the agreement. "Since SANYO and Volkswagen have had a strong relationship in the past with the co-development of Nickel-metal Hydride systems, we look forward to furthering our relationship and will focus on developing products that will benefit the environment with more effective energy storage, Volkswagen and their customers in the future."

Also, in January 2006, SANYO and Volkswagen agreed to co-develop next generation Ni-MH systems. Those efforts are still continuing today.

Toyota Motor Co. announced that it is introducing a plug-in hybrid with next-generation lithium-ion batteries in Japan, the United States and Europe by 2010. The gas-electric vehicles, which can be recharged from a home electrical outlet, will target leasing customers.

The joint venture that Toyota set up with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. will begin producing lithium-ion batteries in 2009 and move into full-scale production in 2010. Toyota is also setting up a research department later this month to develop what it describes as an innovative battery that can outperform even that lithium-ion battery.

"Without focusing on measures to address global warming and energy issues, there can be no future for our auto business," Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe commented.