Japanese Tech Companies Competing to Launch Lithium Batteries


The major Japan­ese elec­tri­cal prod­uct com­pa­nies have made part­ner­ship deals with automak­ers to launch lithi­um ion bat­ter­ies. Sanyo just announced a deal with Volk­swa­gen AG for mak­ing hybrid-vehi­cle bat­ter­ies. A week ear­li­er, sim­i­lar plans were announced between Nis­san and NEC Corp., and between Toy­ota and Mat­sushi­ta. Lithi­um ion vehi­cles are lighter and more pow­er­ful than those pow­ered by nick­el-met­al hydride bat­ter­ies, but there is con­cern about over­heat­ing, and tech­ni­cal and cost hur­dles.