Panasonic is going to invest JPY50 billion, which is about CNY2.7 billion, to build an electric car battery factory in China.
According to reports in Japanese local media, the Japanese company will cooperate with a Chinese partner to build a joint venture, which is expected to put into production in 2017. The partner's name and any government affiliation were not made available.
The new factory, which will be located in Dalian, Liaoning province, will be engaged in the production of square lithium-ion batteries for pure electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Panasonic already has PC battery factory in China; however, this is the first time for the company to build a car battery factory in the country.
Upon completion of this new factory, its annual production capacity can meet the battery demands of about 200,000 pure electric cars.
The market research firm Fuji Economic predicted in the summer of 2015 that by 2025, China's pure electric car and plug-in hybrid vehicle market scale would increase to 7.5 times of that in 2015 and the number would be about 650,000 vehicles. However, the market growth is faster than expected.
Statistics provided by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that from January to November 2015, China's output of pure electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles increased to 4.4 times of that in the same period of last year, reaching a total of 290,000 vehicles. The association said that the number would be over 350,000 vehicles for the entire year of 2015.