New Lithium-Ion Battery Plant to Be Built in Japan
The announcement was made by Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ), the company who handles the production of the cells. The new site, which will be developed through a $400 million investment, will become operational at the beginning of 2012, having an annual production output of 4.4 million cells. This will allow it to power 50,000 units of the i-MiEV.
LEJ debuted mass production last June, at its Kusatsu Plant’s 1st Line and has been operating at full capacity ever since, producing 200,000 cells per year (enough for 2,300 EVs). The Factory’s 2nd line is scheduled to start production in June, with an annual output of 400,000 cells (enough for 4,500 EVs).
In addition to that, LEJ has started upgrading its Kyoto plant through the addition of a new production line. Starting from December, the site will produce 1 million cells per year (enough for 11,000 EVs).
“LEJ has succeeded in developing technologies to produce the large capacity lithium-ion cells in the specially designed mass production line, and is now prepared to launch full-scale operations capable of meeting the needs of more than 10,000 EVs per year,” stated the press release.
The Ritto production site will start production by the second half of the 2012 fiscal year. The development will bring LEJ’s total annual output to 6 million cells (enough for 67,800 EVs). This will bring the company closer to its ultimate goal of accommodating 100,000 electric vehicles per year.