The Nikkei reports that GS Yuasa Corp., Mitsubishi Corp. and Magna International Inc. are planning to set up a joint venture for the European production of automotive Li-ion batteries.
GS Yuasa reportedly will have a majority stake, Magna 20-40% and Mitsubishi the remainder.
Costing 40 billion yen [US$466 million] or so, their factory will likely be one of the largest electric-vehicle lithium ion battery plants in Europe and is to be built in Spain or Austria. Construction will likely begin early next year, with the plant operational as early as 2012. Output capacity is to be hiked gradually to roughly 50,000 vehicles. The trio could also build a similar plant in North America.
The lithium ion batteries will likely be used for a new electric vehicle that French firm PSA Peugeot Citroen Group plans to produce in Spain. The three companies also aim to provide them to such Magna customers as Ford Motor Co. and German firm BMW AG.
GS Yuasa is also in a joint venture with Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. to produce Li-ion batteries for Mitsubishi Motors’ i-MiEV electric car. Mitsubishi Motors reportedly will not participate in the joint venture with Magna.