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Low-carbon Economy Sets Green Tone at 9th China International Battery Fair

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Low-carbon Economy Sets Green Tone at 9th China International Battery Fair

Post  Admin on Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:42 am

Sony debuts its latest olivine-structure LiFePO4 batteries

One of the most intensively observed and yet challenging issues in the global automotive industry, without any doubt, is the continual development of electric vehicles (EV), whose life and future rely inextricably on the practicality, sophistication of batteries such as lithium-ion power cells.

Opening ceremony for the 9th China International Battery Fair (CIBF 2010) in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China.

At the 9th China International Battery Fair (CIBF 2010), held at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center, Guangdong Province, China June 24-26, Sony of Japan, one of the few foreign exhibitors at the annual energy-storage fair, debuted its latest olivine-structure LiFePO4 batteries.

In an interview with the press, Nagata Haruyasu, chairman and president of Sony Energy Parts Inc., disclosed that Sony fully recognizes the low-carbon economy is the necessary trend today, so as of November 2009 the big Japanese consumer-electronics company decided to come out from behind the scene to take its battery business onto the global stage. Planning to invest initially over 100 billion Japanese yen (about 7.6 billion renminbi) in the battery business, Sony targets to develop batteries for all major applications as EVs and other new power-generation solutions.

EV Fever
Alongside vigorous development of new transportation technologies and battery products, driven also by more governmental policy support, the EV industry continues to gain momentum to attract ever more attention from consumers, governments, industry, and investors.

At the 9th CIBF, many enterprises showcased battery solutions for new-energy vehicles with the show-stopping appeal revolving around green, of course. Some observers say that the 9th CIBF somehow resembles the recently-ended 2010 World Cup soccer tournament, filled with fierce competition but for international players in the low-carbon industry.

According to Nagata, the low-carbon economy is a critical future development. All of Sony`s energy-storage products focus on storing and reusing energy, and the company has invested considerable money and manpower in developing low-carbon technologies and performance products. The olivine-structure LiFePO4 lithium-ion battery is proof of Sony`s dedication and strong technological strength, he added, because such battery has many advantages over counterparts, making it very suitable as a new energy solution.

In November 2009, Nagata furthered, Sony headquarters announced its mid-term business strategies, a rare move for the company, claiming to utilize its advanced battery technology to provide systematic solutions to energy-storage applications, as well as the entry into the EV power-cell field.

Sony targets new-energy solutions, including the BEV.

A new-energy vehicle developed by American automaker Chevrolet.

Battery R&D Center
In February 2010, Sony set up its advanced battery R&D center in Japan to more efficiently promote the group`s energy-related businesses, as well as EV-battery development and commercialization. Nagata disclosed that Sony has contacted some international automakers, including potential Chinese partners, hoping to build joint ventures in the near future.

With China a world-leading economy and feared as the next fossil fuel behemoth, many companies there also have been aggressively developing EV-related businesses. Wanxiang Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd., for example, has successfully developed wide-ranging EVs, from electric passenger cars, electric buses, hybrid vehicles, to electric construction vehicles. In addition, Wanxiang Group`s self-developed polymer lithium-ion power cells have passed official tests under the Chinese central government`s "863" national battery development plan.
In May this year, Wanxiang announced that one of its fully-owned subsidiaries had signed a cooperation agreement with Ener1 of the U.S., whereby the two parties would set up a large-scale power-cell and battery-pack production base in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province with initial investment of over US$300 million. By late 2011, the venture is expected to see annual capacity of 300 million Ah (ampere-hour) of power cells and 40,000 battery packs for EVs.

Sony showcased its LiFePO4 batteries at the CIBF 2010.

Current investments and developments related to EVs look set for further growth, energized by booming demand for eco-friendly vehicles worldwide. Statistics compiled by the Japanese economic research institute Fuji show that the market for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), and battery electric vehicles (BEV) will rapidly expand over the next few years. By 2014, the Fuji report says, the global EV market (including PHEV, HEV, BEV etc.) will grow more than 200 times from that in 2008, when the global battery market revenue will reach 6.24 trillion Japanese yen.

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