Honda to Give Civic Hybrid Lithium Battery Pack

Civic Hybrid would use GS Yuasa Corp. battery, the aim being to narrow the gap between its sales and Toyota's Prius.

Published: 19-Mar-2010

a Motor Co., Japan’s second- largest carmaker, plans to introduce lithium-ion battery-powered hybrid cars as it struggles to narrow Toyota Motor Corp.’s lead in sales of gasoline-electric cars.

Honda plans to use lithium-ion batteries in its Civic compact “within the next two to three years,” as well as in its Acura luxury cars and other models, Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo said in an interview.

Honda has failed to match Toyota’s success with hybrids, led by the top-selling Prius. Lithium-ion batteries can store as much as twice the energy of nickel-metal hydride batteries that currently power the Prius and Honda’s Civic, Insight and CR-Z hybrid models, said Takeshi Miyao, a supply-chain analyst for auto consultant Carnorama in Tokyo.

“Lithium will become a lot more prevalent,” Kondo said in a March 16 interview at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo. The lithium-ion batteries will be produced with Honda’s joint- venture partner, Kyoto-based GS Yuasa Corp., starting in the second half of this year, he said. The venture is 49 percent owned by Honda.

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