The Japanese battery specialist GS Yuasa has decided to at least double its production capacities for lithium-ion batteries for use in hybrid vehicles. To this end, the company’s subsidiary Blue Energy is strengthening its production lines in Kyoto and building a second plant at the same location.
The second plant in Kyoto is scheduled to go into operation in the 2022 financial year, according to the Japanese announcement. The financial year in Japan usually begins on 1 April, so commissioning is planned between April 2022 and the end of March 2023. In the 2023 financial year (i.e. until 31 March 2024), the capacity is to be doubled with the ramp-up of production.
The expansion is justified by the market situation, as the demand for lithium-ion batteries in hybrid vehicles “is expected to increase from 2021 onwards”. Currently, the company can produce 20 million cells per year. With the “strengthening” of production lines at the existing plant and the new factory, capacity is expected to reach 50 million cells from the 2023 financial year.
No details regarding the cells to be produced in the plant of its subsidiary Blue Energy were provided in the announcement. However, the company emphasises that its batteries have already been installed in more than one million hybrid vehicles.
GS Yuasa plays an important role in Toyota’s electrification plans and is part of a development cooperation. Toyota continues to expect a significantly higher market share for full hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles than for battery-electric cars and fuel cell vehicles in 2030.
Hybrid batteries do not present the only business area for GS Yuasa, however. The company also manufactures automotive starter batteries, motorbike starter batteries and also industrial batteries for standby and cyclic applications.
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