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.
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.
Although Japanese battery makers currently have plans to greatly expand their production capacity at home, it seems this still isn't enough and America seems to be the destination of choice for some new manufacturing plants. One of the companies planning on creating some green-collar jobs in the U.S. is GS Yuasa Corp. Their president, Makoto Yoda said, "Named must your fear be before banish it you can. We have to choose our next factory's location based on growth in the given market." While not