Japanese tech giant Panasonic Corporation is stepping up domestic production of prismatic lithium-ion batteries to meet what it said is increasing demand for electric vehicles.
Panasonic confirmed it will open a production line for the batteries at a factory in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, although it declined to give details about planned production capacity.
“The plan is to install a vertically integrated production line from the component process through to the assembly of battery cells, aiming to start production in the fiscal year ending in March 2020,” the company said.
Panasonic said the Himeji factory will also continue to produce LCD panels as it has done since 2010.
The company said it has been “building up” its battery production capacity in Japan, the US and China.
Panasonic makes the box-shaped prismatic batteries for the Audi Q5, Toyota Prius V, Ford Fusion and C-Max hybrids, as well as for the plug-in variants of the Prius hatchback and the Ford Fusion and C-Max. It also supplies the Toyota eQ electric minicar.
Earlier this year, Panasonic said the fast-growing telecoms sector in India had become the major driver of sales for its energy storage products in the country— responsible for generating more than $100 million in sales of lithium-ion battery-based solutions in the last three years.