Japanese electronics firm Toshiba is planning to expand its share of the global battery market, tapping the growing shift to electronic vehicles (EVs) from vehicles running on fossil fuels.
Toshiba said today that it aims to grow its lithium-ion battery business to ¥400bn ($3.5bn) by 2030. The company expects the global size of the rechargeable battery market will expand to ¥15.7 trillion in 2030, more than triple the ¥4.7 trillion last year. Battery used for EVs is projected to scale up to a ¥12.4 trillion, or 79pc of the total.
Toshiba plans to invest ¥16.2bn in building a new lithium-ion battery production plant at Yokohama in Kanagawa prefecture, west of Tokyo, to meet growing demand. The construction is scheduled to begin in July next year, targeting commissioning in October 2020.
Toshiba also plans to increase output capacity at its existing Kashiwazaki plant in Niigata prefecture, as well as expanding capacity in India and the US, although details are undisclosed.
Fellow Japanese firm Sumitomo Metal Mining is also aiming to invest ¥11.3bn in increasing output capacity of lithium nickel oxide, which is used in the production of lithium-ion battery anodes, during the 2018-19 fiscal year ending 31 March.
Japan has a target to sell only EVs by the end of 2050, in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars by 90pc per vehicle. Such EVs include battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid EVs, hybrid EVs and fuel cell EVs.