Honda has announced that it is following its Japanese compatriots by forming a joint venture to develop and build lithium ion batteries. Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi already have such joint agreements. Honda will be the second automaker to hook up with GS Yuasa. Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa established a JV in 2007 to produce batteries for the iMiEV that will launch in 2009.

Honda will own 49 percent of the venture with the rest being held by the battery maker. The only lithium ion application that Honda has shown so far is the fuel-cell powered FCX Clarity. Interestingly, Honda has been relatively disdainful of the whole idea of plug-in vehicles in the near- to mid-term. Instead, the Honda announcement indicates that the lithium batteries will be used in hybrid rather than electric vehicles. The companies will collaborate on R&D, manufacturing and sales of the new batteries.

[Source: Honda]


GS Yuasa and Honda Reach Basic Agreement to Establish Joint Venture Company for Manufacturing, Sales and Research & Development of Lithium-ion Batteries

TOKYO, Japan, December 17, 2008–GS Yuasa Corporation and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that they have reached a basic agreement to establish a joint venture company which will manufacture, sell and conduct R&D for high-performance lithium-ion batteries for applications with a central focus on hybrid vehicles. The two companies will now begin concrete discussions with an aim to establish the new company sometime around spring 2009.

It is planned that the ratio of capital investment will be 51% by GS Yuasa and 49% by Honda. The headquarters of the new company is planned to be located in Minami-ku, Kyoto, and the factory is planned to be established within the property of GS Yuasa's Osadano operation in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto.

Hybrid vehicles are expected to move into the mass-market stage as an effective environmentally-responsible technology from the standpoint of reducing CO2 emissions. The lithium-ion battery offers energy density and power density higher than the nickel-metal-hydride battery, and demand for lithium-ion batteries is therefore expected to grow in the future as the battery of choice for hybrid vehicles. GS Yuasa and Honda determined that development of smaller and lighter lithium-ion batteries with further improved performance should be achieved by combining the technological strengths and know-how of The two companies in the area of manufacturing, sales, and R&D of lithium-ion batteries. Through the development of such batteries, the two companies can demonstrate the maximum synergy effect in the effort to promote the greater market penetration of hybrid vehicles.

The new company will manufacture batteries based on EH6, the lithium-ion battery developed by GS Yuasa. The performance most suitable for next-generation hybrid vehicles will be achieved through a review of certain elements such as the structure and electrode materials.

[ About the new joint venture company ]
1. Company name Yet to be determined
2. Establishment Scheduled for sometime around spring 2009
3. Headquarters(plan) 1, Inobanba-cho, Nishinosho, Kisshoin, Minami-ku, Kyoto
(within the Kyoto head office of GS Yuasa)
4. Factory location (plan) 1-37, Osadano-cho, Fukuchiyama-shi, Kyoto
(within the GS Yuasa Osadano operation)
5. Capital Approximately 15 billion yen
6. Capital ratio (plan) 51% GS Yuasa Corporation, 49% Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
7. Description of business Manufacturing, sales and R&D of lithium-ion batteries


[ About GS Yuasa Corporation ]

1. Company name GS Yuasa Corporation
2. Establishment April 1, 2004
3. Headquarters 1, Inobanba-cho, Nishinosho, Kisshoin, Minami-ku, Kyoto
4. President Makoto Yoda
5. Capital 16.5 billion yen (as of September 30, 2008)
6. Description of business Manufacturing and sales of batteries, power supply systems, lighting equipment and other batteries and electric equipment
7. Employment Consolidated: 12,487
Unconsolidated: 235 (as of September 30, 2008)


[ About Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ]

1. Company name Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
2. Establishment September 24, 1948
3. Headquarters 1-1, 2-chome, Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
4. President & CEO Takeo Fukui
5. Capital 86 billion yen (as of September 30, 2008)
6. Description of business Manufacturing and sales of motorcycles, automobiles, power products
7. Employment Consolidated: 185,095
Unconsolidated: 27,275 (as of September 30, 2008)