Back in August, Sanyo Electric Co. completed construction of a new lithium-ion production facility that's capable of cranking out up to one million automotive battery cells per month. The plant, located in Hyogo prefecture, Japan, will handle the vast majority of Sanyo's automotive battery production but, if dreams turn into reality, then even the increased output will be insufficient to meet the battery maker's future goals.
Sanyo hopes to nab 30 to 40 percent of the global automotive rechargeable battery market by 2020 and plans to do so by supplying six automakers, four of which remain unnamed, with li-ion batteries for future electric and hybrid vehicles. Previously, Sanyo announced that it will supply batteries for Volkswagen's upcoming gas-electric models and Suzuki's plug-in hybrid fleet vehicles. However, Mitsuru Homma, the head of Sanyo's energy division, reconfirmed that the battery maker has more deals signed, stating, "To be exact, there are six automotive companies, only for lithium-ion batteries." We await the details.