News Releases


Strengthening the Battery Business with a Focus on Lithium-ion Batteries

Promoting the large-scale industrial battery business, with a view toward Smart Grids

Tokyo, June 17, 2010 --- Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT/TSE:6501,hereinafter Hitachi) today announced that its strategy for strengthening the battery business which includes batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles and railcars. On April 1, Hitachi established the Battery Systems Company as a new in-house company to further strengthen the battery business with a focus on the steadily growing lithium-ion battery market. Hitachi will promote the Battery Solution Business, which includes systems for maintaining optimum control of battery recharging and discharging in large-scale industrial applications such as construction machinery and uninterruptible power system (UPS), as well as smart grids and other future applications. This business will also include maintenance and other services related to the above applications. Battery Systems Company will aim for revenues of 250 billion yen in fiscal 2014 in the battery business, with a particular focus on lithium-ion batteries.

In recent years, lithium-ion batteries – a key device in the context of environmental measures – have gained attention as lightweight, compact, high-energy-density secondary batteries that deliver the same performance as nickel metal-hydride batteries in a package that is about half the size and weight, and about one-third the size and weight of equivalent lead acid batteries. Currently, the lithium-ion battery market focuses on consumer product applications, including mobile phones, notebook PCs, and digital cameras, but the market for these batteries is expected to continue growing in the future, with a focus on environment-friendly vehicles such as hybrid and electric vehicles and electric scooters, as well as construction machinery and other industrial applications. With new applications arising in UPS, smart grids, and other fields, the lithium-ion battery market is expected to grow to a scale of about 4 trillion yen in 2018.

Based on these market trends, on April 1 of this year, Hitachi established the “Battery Systems Company,” a new in-house company comprised of two existing companies – Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. and Hitachi Vehicle Energy, Ltd. – to further strengthen the battery business with a focus on the steadily growing lithium-ion battery market.

Under the leadership of the Battery Systems Company, Hitachi will expand its business targeting the sales of battery cells, and at the same time will promote the rollout of the Battery Solution business, which includes systems for maintaining optimum control of battery recharging and discharging, as well as maintenance and other related services. In battery recharging/discharging control systems, Hitachi will utilize the control technologies cultivated within the Hitachi Group in a variety of business fields. At the same time, it will collaborate with Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co., Ltd., a group company currently involved in the lead rechargeable battery and lithium-ion battery businesses, in promoting batteries for large-scale industrial applications.

In May of this year, as part of efforts to strengthen the industrial battery business, Hitachi initiated a Group-wide development project with a view toward “smart cities,” and began development of cells and control platforms that can be used in common in a wide range of industrial applications. This project will be conducted over a period of three years, with a total investment of 5 billion yen.

By unifying production, procurement, and other activities, Hitachi will promote optimization of business structures throughout the Hitachi Group in a wide range of battery business fields, from consumer products to large-scale industrial batteries.
Through the Battery Solution Business, Hitachi will support the Social Innovation Business in diverse fields including Green Mobility and new energy.