Japan’s IHI Corporation has unveiled plans to launch a lithium battery storage project in the country’s Fukushima Prefecture.
IHI said the 500kW, 2.5MWh storage facility, incorporating LG Chem Li-ion battery racks, will be developed by US-based subsidiary IHI Energy Storage.
Researchers in Japan say they have identified new solid materials that could lead to the production of “potentially-safer” lithium-ion batteries.
According to a study published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, research led by Makoto Moriya, of Shizuoka University’s Department of Chemistry, has identified solid crystals that “self-assemble” to form channels for an electric current that could lead to the manufacture of safer batteries.
Japan's GS Yuasa, a major lead-acid battery maker, could start mass production of lithium-ion batteries that would double the driving range of small electric vehicles (EVs) by 2020, according to a report.
Japanese business journal Nikkei Asian Review said the batteries would allow a Mitsubishi Motors' i-MiEV small vehicle to travel up to 340km after charging – compared to around 170km at present. This would compare favourably with the driving range of a large EV or a petrol-fuelled vehicle, the journal claimed.