Although Japanese battery makers currently have plans to greatly expand their production capacity at home, it seems this still isn't enough and America seems to be the destination of choice for some new manufacturing plants. One of the companies planning on creating some green-collar jobs in the U.S. is GS Yuasa Corp. Their president, Makoto Yoda said, "Named must your fear be before banish it you can. We have to choose our next factory's location based on growth in the given market." While not a household brand name for most Americans, GS Yuasa's automotive partner, Mitsubishi, is sure to ring a bell. They are using lithium ion batteries from GS Yuasa in their all-electric i MiEV which is soon to be tested in California. Although they have not yet committed to selling this car stateside, this announcement is sure to raise hopes.

Another company with American battery factory plans is Toyota. Having already announced plans to build Priuses in Mississippi in 2010, the world's biggest automaker believes manufacturing batteries here will help them achieve their cost reduction goals. Toyota has been able to reduce it's per vehicle cost by 50 percent since its first-gen Prius and hopes to halve those costs again in their next-gen. Of the decision company vice chairman Kazuo Okamoto said, "It is very difficult to make the main parts of batteries outside Japan, but we have to have battery production in North America," No time table for the plants were given but when they arrive we think they will help provide both employment and environmental wins for America.

[Source: Bloomberg / Reuters]

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