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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Panasonic to make more lithium-ion batteries to meet robust US automotive demand

Panasonic will increase domestic production of lithium-ion battery used for automobiles to meet robust demand in the United States, company officials said on Thursday.

The electronics maker will resume operation of idled lines at the Suminoe Plant in Osaka Prefecture, which produces batteries for U.S. automaker Tesla Motors Inc., as early as next January, while another factory in Kaizuka City in the prefecture, which the company has suspended its operation since March, will reopen by the end of next fiscal year, Panasonic spokesperson Megumi Kitagawa said.

She also said that the company will add some manufacturing lines at the Kasai plant in Hyogo Prefecture, which produces batteries for domestic automakers, by the end of the current fiscal year through next March.

In June Panasonic announced that shipments of its automotive-grade lithium-ion battery cells for Tesla Motors’ premium, all-electric Model S sedan surpassed 100 million units.

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