Back in August, Sanyo Electric Co., a common name in the rechargeable battery industry, completed construction of its Kasai Plant, a lithium-ion automotive battery production facility in Hyogyo prefecture, Japan. The factory is currently capable of cranking out up to one million battery cells per month, but Sanyo is looking to invest 15 billion yen ($180 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) to raise output at the Kasai site by 150 percent.
With two additional lithium-ion production lines scheduled to become operational in 2011, Sanyo's Kasai plant will double its current battery output. Furthermore, Sanyo's decision to boost production at the site would place it among the top in the world in terms of annual output capacity of lithium-ion battery cells. The Kasai facility only manufacturers batteries intended for use in plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, which Sanyo currently supplies to automakers including Volkswagen and Suzuki.