Japanese Suppliers Increase Materials Production for Hybrids

Materials include battery separators and motor alloys.

Published: 12-Jan-2008

At least six Japanese manufacturers are increasing production of materials used in hybrid vehicles, Nikkei English News reported, without citing anyone.

Asahi Kasei Corp. and Sumitomo Chemical Corp. are both increasing output of separators used in lithium-ion batteries, which will probably replace nickel-hydrogen batteries as the vehicles' main power source, the news service said. Both companies expect to spend several billion yen on the effort.

Showa Denko KK expects to spend about 1 billion yen ($9.13 million) to raise annual capacity for magnetic alloys used in motors by 25 percent to 10,000 tons, Nikkei said. Denki Kaguku Kogyo KK is planning to double capacity to make metal parts used to disperse heat from motor controllers.

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