Economic Slump Not Deterring Some Japanese Firms' Investment in 'Green' Tech

Investments include materials for advanced lithium-ion batteries.

Published: 06-Jan-2009

At a time when many Japanese companies have postponed or halted investment plans, some firms are stepping up spending in areas such as the environment, hoping for a head start when the economy recovers.

An Asahi Kasei Corp. affiliate plans to invest a total of 9 billion yen to increase production of materials for lithium-ion batteries at its plant in Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture, and a new factory under construction in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture.

Mitsubishi Plastics Inc. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. will also boost output of such materials, while Toshiba Corp. plans to construct a plant in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, to start mass production of lithium-ion batteries in autumn 2010.


The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.

Dramatic developments in stored-power technology make electric cars more viable than ever. Pictures is Th!nk Global's new Ox crossover vehicle.


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