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Hitachi Develops Lithium-ion Batteries for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles 2010.01.17

Expanding the battery system business with a view toward industrial applications. Tokyo, January 13, 2010 - Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT / TSE:6501, hereinafter Hitachi) today announced that Hitachi and Hitachi Vehicle Energy, Ltd., which develops and manufactures lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications, such as hybrid electric vehicles, have developed lithium-ion batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, a first for the Hitachi Group.

Photo: Hitachi
Tokyo, January 13, 2010
- Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT / TSE:6501, hereinafter Hitachi) today announced that Hitachi and Hitachi Vehicle Energy, Ltd., which develops and manufactures lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications, such as hybrid electric vehicles, have developed lithium-ion batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, a first for the Hitachi Group.

These new batteries were developed in response to the growing demand for environment-friendly vehicles resulting from the increasingly strict regulations on automobile exhaust emissions around the world.

Starting from the spring of 2010, the company will begin shipping samples to automobile manufacturers in Japan and overseas.

Photo: Hitachi
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)
have two running modes: an EV (electric vehicle) mode, in which the vehicle runs on a motor alone, and an HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) mode, in which the vehicle is driven by both the engine and the motor.

PHEVs offer dramatically improved gas mileage and reduced exhaust emissions, and so are considered a strong contender among environment-friendly vehicles of the future.

Photo: Hitachi
The newly developed lithium-ion batteries offer the high performance and reliability required for use in PHEVs, achieving both high energy (durability; contribute to gaining cruising distance) and high output (instantaneous force) performance.

In the future, Hitachi will make preparations for the shift to volume production, incorporating the expertise that it has accumulated over many years through its Monozukuri technologies and its experience in global markets.

The newly developed lithium-ion batteries offer the following unique features:

First, they have an electric capacity of 25Ah, so can run for about 20 km in EV mode, using the motor alone.
This represents 4-5 times the capacity of the lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) that Hitachi has been developing up to now.

Second, Hitachi has developed new electrodes that offer an outstanding balance of high energy (EV running) and high power (HEV running) performances.
Normally, high energy and high power are reciprocal factors in battery design, but these new electrodes achieve both factors simultaneously by optimizing the electrodes' thickness and the composition of the active materials, and by enhancing the composition of the conductive materials to maintain high output.

Third, the batteries incorporate a heat-resistant separator that prevents internal short-circuits and dramatically improves safety.
The separator is a key component of lithium-ion batteries that separates the cathode and the anode, and at the same time maintains ionic conductivity. Because the electric capacity of PHEV batteries is considerably higher than that of HEV batteries, consideration for safety becomes even more important.
The heat-resistant separator adopted in these new batteries was specially designed and developed for automotive applications, based on ceramic separator technologies.

Photo: Hitachi
To accommodate larger battery sizes, a variety of simulation technologies, including structural analysis and vibration analysis, have been utilized to increase battery strength and enhance the collector structure.
In collaboration with Hitachi Research Laboratory and the Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory, Hitachi has achieved a battery structure with an even higher level of reliability than previous units.

In 2000, the Hitachi Group became the first in the world to begin volume production of safe, high-performance, long-lasting automotive lithium-ion batteries.
Since then, it has brought a cumulative total of 900,000 cells to the market, mainly for commercial hybrid buses and trucks, as well as for railway cars and other applications.

The lithium-ion batteries being released today will serve to further expand the range of applications, not only in automobiles, but also in the Social Innovation Business, which is a core area of business for the Hitachi Group; for example, in railways, construction and industrial equipment, power storage devices, and other industrial fields.
To achieve this goal, Hitachi will provide customers with optimum solutions in the form of battery systems that also incorporate control devices.

Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. (President and CEO: Kunihiko Ohnuma) will undertake sales of these automotive lithium-ion batteries.

Hitachi will also display lithium-ion batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at the 1st International Rechargeable Battery Expo, which will be held at Tokyo Big Sight from March 3-5, 2010.

These development activities used some of the results of research contracted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Hitachi has been participating in a national project related to large-scale lithium-ion batteries being promoted by NEDO and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry since 1992, and will continue its efforts to incorporate the results of such contracted research into practical applications as quickly as possible.


Hitachi Lithium-Ion Battery Striving Toward the Creation of a Green Society

As the third core technology following motors and inverters, Hitachi lithium-ion batteries support community innovation businesses in various fields, including "green mobility" and new energy.

Photo: Hitachi

*Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery's backup power supply battery was developed in cooperation with NTT Facilities, Inc

Consumer Lithium-Ion Battery

• Basic products which have achieved "zero recall" status after cumulative shipments of 600 million cells.
• For mobile devices (Cellular phones, digital cameras, game machines).
• Replace nickel-cadmium batteries and nickel-hydrogen batteries for electric tools and other power devices.

Automotive Lithium-Ion Battery

• Cumulative sales of 800 thousand cells for commercial automobiles.
• For hybrid commercial vehicles (buses and trucks) and hybrid passenger cars.
• Proprietary battery controller provides an optimum power supply module.

Industrial Lithium-Ion Battery

• Pioneering development in cooperation with customers - large, flame-retardant battery having a long service life.
• For backup power supply and electric power storage.
• Replace lead storage batteries.


Parts & Materials supporting Hybrid System - Lithium-ion Battery for HEV

What's the Lithium Ion Battery ?

Lithium ion rechargeable battery can be used repeatedly, and thanks to the advantageous features of being compact and lightweight, instead of the nickel hydride batteries used in the past, it is widely used for mobile applications in laptop PC, cellular phones and etc.

In addition, it is favored as the battery for Hybrid-Electric Vehicles and fuel battery vehicles for the future because of the distinct features such as higher charging efficiency than the nickel hydride battery and has no memory effect.

Photo: Hitachi
Currently, for mobile use, much cobalt, high value rare metal is used in the lithium ion rechargeable battery, however it is required to apply inexpensive and abundant resource for automobiles.

The Research and Development Group of Hitachi Group is pursuing "long operating life", "high output", "high energy density", "high credibility", and "low cost" as the themes of development aimed for applications in automobiles.

Adoption Merit

1. Capable of high input and output(1.5 times to our conventional ratio)
2. Long operating life ( 2 times to our conventional ratio)
3. Decrease in volume of battery (Reduced by 15% to our conventional ratio)
4. Contributes to the realization of low fuel consumption vehicles, low exhaust gas, and excellent accelerating performance.

Overview and Features

1. High output assistance and high energy regeneration are possible.
2. Realization of high energy efficiency
3. World's first mass production for HEV use
4. Realized the downsizing and advancement of reliability by introducing the newly developed ASIC in the cell controller
5. Global supply is made possibly in Japan, in North America and etc.


Photo: Hitachi

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 400,000 employees worldwide.

Fiscal 2008 (ended March 31, 2009) consolidated revenues totaled 10,000 billion yen ($102.0 billion).

The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials, logistics and financial services.

For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at


In 2004, the 3 companies, Hitachi, Ltd., Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co., Ltd. and Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. established Hitachi Vehicle Energy, Ltd. for the purpose of developing Lithium Ion Batteries for automobile use.
It has been already mass producing the merchandises for Hybrid-Electric Vehicles and it has a commercial achievement of 600,000 sales.
Currently, the collective effort of Hitachi, Ltd., as well as Hitachi Group is combined to aim in becoming a world's best company within the field of lithium-ion batteries for automobile use.


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