It's official: Mitsubishi has recalled more than 4,300 plug-in vehicles, almost all of which are Outlander Plug-in Hybrids, because of battery issues, Automotive News says.
Last week was a rough one for Mitsubishi and its efforts to broaden its appeal among potential plug-in vehicle buyers. Two fires caused the Japanese automaker to halt production of both the Outlander plug-in hybrid and a version of the all-electric i-MiEV. The two separate incidents – both in Japan – involved plug-in vehicle battery-pack fires and, until the cause is found, production will be suspended, reports Automotive News.
PSA Peugeot-Citroen has turned to GS Yuasa for lithium-ion battery packs for the automakers' upcoming commercial electric vans. The batteries will be manufactured at a Ritto, Shiga Prefecture plant owned by Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture between GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Motors. This plant, according to a report published in the Japanese Nikkei newspaper, can crank out enough li-ion batteries for up to 50,000 electric vehicles a year.
GS Yuasa, the lithium-ion battery maker that recently dissolved its joint venture (JV) with Sanyo, is now eying the possibility of setting up shop with the assistance of Mitsubishi Corp. and Magna International Inc. The Nikkei reports that GS Yuasa will hold a majority stake in a new joint venture that's aimed at boosting lithium-ion battery production in Europe. Magna will reportedly hold a 20-40-percent share in the JV and Mitsubishi the remainder.
GS Yuasa recently dissolved its long-standing, money-losing joint venture with Sanyo, but that move has not impacted the company's ability to develop breakthrough battery technology. GS Yuasa has developed and prototyped a new vanadium phosphate cathode material for lithium-ion batteries and the initial round of testing shows that the cathode material could improve output density, increase battery safety and potentially lead to the production of lower cost lithium-ion batteries.
Intensifying price competition from South Korean battery manufacturers has driven Sanyo Electric Co. and GS Yuasa Corp. to dissolve their long-standing lithium-ion battery joint venture (JV). According to a joint announcement, the liquidation of the Sanyo GS Soft Energy Co. JV was inevitable as the venture had posted net losses for two years running. The decision to dissolve the JV may hinder Sanyo's ability to collect loans valued at 4 billion yen ($47.5 million U.S. at the current exchange rat
Over the past year, Mitsubishi has repeatedly increased its production volume goals of the i-MiEV electric car and now it has decided it needs more capacity to build batteries. Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ) is the joint venture between Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa to build lithium ion batteries. LEJ will build a new production facility in Ritto City, Japan with capacity to supply enough lithium cells for 50,000 cars a year.
Blue Energy, the recently announced joint venture between Honda Motor Company and GS Yuasa, has begun construction of a new battery manufacturing plant. A groundbreaking was held this week for the Osadano Plant in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto where Blue Energy will develop and produce lithium ion batteries for future Honda hybrid vehicles. Production of batteries at the factory should start in the fall of 2010.
Honda has announced that it is following its Japanese compatriots by forming a joint venture to develop and build lithium ion batteries. Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi already have such joint agreements. Honda will be the second automaker to hook up with GS Yuasa. Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa established a JV in 2007 to produce batteries for the iMiEV that will launch in 2009.