Honda and the GS Yuasa Corporation have agreed on a joint venture contract for the "manufacturing, sales and R&D of Lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles." Called Blue Energy (apparently, the Japanese have taken to the European shift of the eco-defining color word?), the new company is the result of last December's announcement and months of discussions on how to bring li-ion vehicle batteries to market. Hybrids will be the "central focus" of the JV, which makes sense given Honda's distaste for plug-in vehicles. Even though the planned establishment date is April 1st, Blue Energy doesn't smell foolish at all to me.

GS Yuasa, a battery supplier, announced in 2007 that it would work with Mitsubishi on lithium batteries.

[Source: Honda]


PRESS RELEASE:

GS Yuasa and Honda Sign Contract to Establish Joint Venture Company

TOKYO, Japan, March 24, 2009 – GS Yuasa Corporation and Honda signed a joint venture contract to establish a new joint venture company for manufacturing, sales and R&D of Lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles. Since the signing of a basic agreement in December of last year, two companies have engaged in a series of discussions to determine concrete plans for the establishment of 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 new company, Blue Energy Co., Ltd., is scheduled to be established April 1, 2009.

Outline of the new joint venture company

1. Company name Blue Energy Co., Ltd.
2. Establishment date (plan) April 1, 2009
3. Headquarters 1, Inobanba-cho, Nishinosho, Kisshoin, Minami-ku, Kyoto
4. Capital 3 billion yen
Potential increase in capital and capital surplus up to 15 billion yen may be executed.
5. Capital Ratio 51% GS Yuasa Power Supply Ltd. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of GS Yuasa Corporation)
49% Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
6. Description of business Manufacturing, sales and R&D of high-performance lithium-ion batteries
7. President and CEO Masahiko Oshitani
(Executive Officer of GS Yuasa Corporation)