By Dr. Cameron Chai
Panasonic has reported that the company will provide lithium-ion battery cells to the hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles of Ford Motor. C-Max hybrid electric and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids, Ford Fusion Energi and Ford Fusion Hybrid Electric are the upcoming models. Panasonic battery cells along with a gasoline engine will be utilized in these models.
PANASONIC LITHIUM-ION BATTERY
It is anticipated that there is a rapid increase in the requirement of rechargeable batteries for green vehicles. In order to meet such requirements, the company is strengthening its battery business. Previously, Panasonic has been providing nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery systems and cells for the hybrid electric vehicles for the automotive companies in the world. It is supplying lithium-ion battery cells and systems for electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
A long-term relationship is maintained between the two companies, due to the existence of supply contract inked between Panasonic and Ford Motor for the lithium-ion battery. Since 2004, Ni-MH battery systems have been provided for the Ford Escape hybrid vehicle by SANYO, which was purchased by Panasonic. The Ford Escape Hybrid has been powered by the battery systems of Panasonic. The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid are powered by the company's battery cells. Currently, the company’s business has extended to supply of lithium-ion battery cells for the four Ford plug-in hybrid and Ford hybrid models. The company provides the battery cells in cell stack configuration in order to increase the reliability and efficiency of the transportation.
Panasonic is continuously speeding up the growth and commercialization of rechargeable batteries with high performance for eco-friendly vehicles and is globally expanding the business of rechargeable batteries. Hence, there may be carbon footprint reduction in the global automotive vehicles.