Once again showing how important automakers see the lithium ion battery is an announcement from Yuasa and Mitsubishi that their joint venture battery plant needs to be much larger than originally planned. In fact, the two companies have quintupled planned output before a single battery has even been manufactured. Mitsubishi is expecting high demand for its upcoming i-MiEV electric car, which should go on sale in Japan sometime in 2009. We wonder how much impact Japan Post's plan to use an all electric fleet had in this decision.
At the outset, the plant will cost about 4 billion yen ($36.94 million) and be able to produce enough packs for 10,000 EV's. By 2012, an additional 10 billion yen ($92 million or so) will have been spent to double that capacity. In order to make room for a plant this large, Yuasa is said to be searching for a new site in Japan.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]