GS Yuasa, Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors launched a joint venture (JV) back in 2007 to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for the i-MiEV. Those batteries have been produced and the vehicle, that diminutive i-MiEV, is now available for purchase in some countries. While Mitsubishi's battery-powered plans may have began with the i-MiEV, the company's future is filled with more electric dreams.
The Nikkei reported yesterday that Mitsubishi Motors had turned to South Korea-based LG Chem to jointly develop an advanced automotive lithium-ion battery system. According to that report, the two companies were to fashion some sort of power control device and a collision safety mechanism that could be applied to li-ion batteries produced by LG Chem. The advanced batteries would then be dropped into an undisclosed Mitsubishi electric prototype for further testing.
Today, Mitsubishi flatly denied that report, with a company spokesman telling Automotive News that, "The report is based on speculation. We have no plan to jointly develop batteries with LG Chem."
[Source: Green Car Congress, Automotive News – sub. req.]