Panasonic will start production of automotive lithium-ion batteries at a factory in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, expanding domestic production amid increasing demand for such batteries.
Panasonic has been building up its production capacity of automotive batteries in Japan, the United States, and China. To further boost the capacity, the company has decided to produce prismatic automotive lithium-ion batteries at the Himeji factory, which currently produces LCD panels.
The plan is to install a vertically integrated production line from the component process to the assembly of battery cells at the factory, aiming to start production in the fiscal year that ends in March 2020. The company will continue to make LCD panels at the factory.
The global market for plug-in vehicles has been growing in response to stricter worldwide environmental regulations on automobiles as well as a variety of incentive measures for promoting eco-conscious vehicles.
The world market for automotive batteries, which are essentially required for electrified vehicles, is also growing rapidly, with increasing expectations from auto manufacturers on Panasonic, the leading manufacturer of automotive lithium-ion batteries.