Sanyo: Accelerating technology development for lithium-ion batteries

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (SANYO) is pleased to announce the construction of a new technical facility for lithium-ion batteries on the premises of the Tokushima Plant (Itano-gun, Tokushima), SANYO’s development and production site for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

Construction of the new facility will begin in May of this year, and will be completed in November, 2010.

There is strong demand for lithium-ion batteries, especially for use in mobile phones, laptop computers and other information and communication devices. The use of lithium-ion batteries is expected to further increase in the future, in power source applications, and electric cars and in power storage applications combined with solar cells.

At the same time, requirements for the battery development are becoming more and more diversified, which include higher performance, cost reduction and shorter development period.
The Tokushima Plant has become SANYO’s main site for the technical development and production of lithium-ion batteries. However, with the increasingly diversified requirements for lithium-ion batteries, it has become necessary to expand the development space, as well as to improve measurement instruments and equipment necessary for the trial manufacture and evaluation of new batteries.

In order to maintain and expand SANYO’s competitive strength in technology development for the future, the new facility will provide space for the setup of all kinds of equipment for the trial production and performance evaluation of batteries, as well as to accommodate the office of the lithium-ion battery technology department.

SANYO is also investigating the introduction of equipment for the verification of mass-production technologies for new batteries in the future. The construction of the new facility will further increase SANYO’s capabilities for developing new materials and manufacturing technologies, thereby enabling the company to become a leader in the lithium-ion battery market where further performance improvement is expected.

Outline of the New Facility

1. Construction cost: Approximately 3 billion yen
2. Construction period: May to November 2010 (scheduled). Operation will be gradually expanded after completion.
3. Structure: Four-story steel-frame structure
4. Development of lithium-ion batteries other than those for use in HEV

Outline of the Current Tokushima Plant (as of Feb. 2010)

1. Site name: Tokushima Plant
2. Location: 139-32 Toyohisa Matsushige-cho, Itano-gun, Tokushima
3. Site area: 176,597 m2
4. Building area: 93,809 m2
5. Business areas: Development and manufacture of lithium-ion batteries