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Honda And GS Yuasa Agree On Battery Joint Venture

Honda and GS Yuasa have signed a joint venture agreement toward the establishment of a new company, which will work on high-capacity, high-output lithium-ion batteries, mainly for electric vehicles.

The two Japanese companies have been negotiating the deal since January and are ready to establish the “Honda・GS Yuasa EV Battery R&D Co., Ltd.” joint venture (50/50) later this year.

The main focus will be “research and develop lithium-ion batteries and battery production methods that will be highly competitive at a global level” but the long-term goal of the partnership is clearly the mass production of EV batteries. That’s why the new company “will strive to establish a supply chain for key raw materials and a highly-efficient production system for its batteries.”

That’s not a surprise, because GS Yuasa, one of the largest Japanese battery manufacturers, would like to treat lithium-ion EV batteries more seriously. The company was already engaged in EV batteries (Lithium Energy Japan joint venture for Mitsubishi plug-ins, and Blue Energy joint venture for Honda hybrids).

The new partnership with Honda (and potentially other partners) might put GS Yuasa among the largest all-electric car battery manufacturers later this decade.

Comments by Koichi Yamamoto, Representative Director and President (to be) of Honda・GS Yuasa EV Battery R&D Co., Ltd. said:

“We are very pleased that Honda and GS Yuasa have reached a joint venture agreement, which will become a new milestone in our pursuit of the realization of carbon neutrality, which is a goal shared by the two companies. The new company will fully leverage the strengths of the two companies and establish a strong presence in the rapidly expanding battery market.”

The question is what battery chemistry and battery cell type will be selected for the new electric cars, as well as whether Honda is ready for some new solutions, like cell-to-pack or structural battery packs.

Those questions must be answered by the Honda・GS Yuasa EV Battery R&D Co., before the partners decide to invest billions in new battery plants.

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