Toshiba isn't a stranger to the rechargeable battery business. In fact, it's one of the largest producers of rechargeable batteries for consumer electronics. Automotive batteries, though, that's a different story. Back in May, Toshiba announced that it was ready to enter the burgeoning li-ion market and had reportedly lined up some collaborative deals with a handful of undisclosed automakers. Recently, Toshiba revealed that Mitsubishi and Volkswagen were among the group of previously unknown automakers. Toshiba has now uncovered two more.

Toshiba will jointly develop lithium-ion batteries for upcoming hybrid vehicles from Fiat and the Swedish commercial vehicle producer, Scania AB. Toshiba will tap its new plant in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, Japan to expand li-ion battery production to meet growing demand. With several deals in the books, Toshiba anticipates its production of li-ion batteries will grow to one million cells per month by 2011 and account for 200 billion yen ($2.4 billion U.S. at the current exchange rate) in annual sales by 2015. Numbers like that certainly suggest that Toshiba will be a stranger to the li-ion automotive market for not much longer.

[Source: Nikkei]

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