The combination of Hitachi’s technological expertise in lithium-ion batteries with the Johnson Control’s solid customer base in the automotive sector is expected to create great benefits for the two companies, according to a spokeswoman for Hitachi.
Hitachi, which has produced 1.2 million lithium-ion automotive battery cells, supplies Japanese truckmaker Isuzu, and plans to supply General Motors.
Johnson Controls is a major automobile battery maker, controlling about 30 percent market share in lead-acid storage batteries.
Demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to grow sharply in the near future as electric vehicles and smart grid electricity distribution systems become more widespread.
Automakers and electronics companies worldwide are rushing to develop and produce the batteries–often through tie-ups.
Battery maker GS Yasa has joint ventures with Honda and Mitsubishi, which is also working with Toshiba. Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, a joint venture between Nissan and NEC, will produce the lithium-ion batteries for Nissan’s electric vehicle to be introduced in the U.S. and Japan, as well as Nissan’s original hybrid vehicles.
Toyota has a joint venture with Panasonic. Meanwhile, Panasonic is in the process of turning subsidiary Sanyo, a global leader in lithium-ion batteries for consumer electronics, into a wholly owned unit.