Panasonic develops more powerful battery for autos, computers

TOKYO — Panasonic Corp. has developed more powerful batteries for use in everything from laptops to electric vehicles, the Japanese electronics maker said Friday.

TOKYO — Panasonic Corp. has developed more powerful batteries for use in everything from laptops to electric vehicles, the Japanese electronics maker said Friday.

The new lithium-ion batteries are 20 per cent to 30 per cent more powerful than current batteries, according to Osaka-based Panasonic.

They can raise the cruising range of electric vehicles on a single charge from 200 kilometres to about 270 kilometres, it said.

Major automakers around the world are developing electric and plug-in vehicles, intensifying the race to produce better lithium-ion batteries. Demand is expected to grow for their use in such vehicles, not just laptops and other gadgets.

Panasonic has a joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp. that supplies batteries for hybrid cars, including the Prius, and plug-in models.

But Panasonic said it was in talks with about 10 automakers to supply the new battery, underlining the breakdown of such tie-ups involving batteries for green autos.

Panasonic has also just taken majority control of Japanese rival Sanyo Electric Co., which also boasts lithium-ion battery technology. Sanyo supplies batteries to Volkswagen AG of Germany.

With fears growing about global warming, Panasonic is banking on the efforts of governments, including the U.S. and Europe, to curb emissions.

The new government of Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020.

Panasonic said it had developed a better safety technology with its batteries that prevents overheating, a relatively common problem with lithium-ion batteries.

One type of the new batteries will go into mass production in the fiscal year ending March 2012, while another kind will go into mass production in the fiscal year ending March 2013.

Also Friday, Panasonic said it had developed a more powerful and durable fuel cell system, which is a more futuristic source of energy.

Panasonic said it hopes to combine the fuel cell with lithium-ion batteries for creating and storing energy outdoors, and will start testing the technology in the fiscal year ending March 2012.

Just Posted

Alberta inquiry into oil and gas foes could face legal challenge from Ecojustice

CALGARY — An environmental law group is threatening legal action if the… Continue reading

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9 per cent in August as gas prices weaken

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation rate slowed slightly to 1.9 per cent… Continue reading

Iran tells US retaliation looms if targeted for Saudi attack

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has warned the U.S. it will retaliate “immediately”… Continue reading

Review board hears mass killer takes medication, should have trips into Edmonton

EDMONTON — A review panel has reserved its decision on what privileges… Continue reading

N.S. senior whose birthday card request drew international response dies

SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia widower who received thousands of birthday… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

New parent charged in admissions scam, linked to $400K bribe

BOSTON — A woman accused of paying $400,000 to get her son… Continue reading

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re “stepping away” from ice dancing

Canadian ice dancing stars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir say they are… Continue reading

Bruce Cockburn avoids impulse to get political with lyric-less new album

TORONTO — If anyone is looking for activist folk singer Bruce Cockburn… Continue reading

13 seasons in, stars reflect on success of ‘Heartland,’ Canada’s ‘comfort food’

HIGH RIVER, Alta. — Alberta-born actor Shaun Johnston had already had a… Continue reading

N.S. senior whose birthday card request drew international response dies

SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia widower who received thousands of birthday… Continue reading

Freedom of expression or personal attack? Nurse appeals fine for Facebook post

REGINA — Saskatchewan’s highest court is to decide what’s next for a… Continue reading

RCMP commissioner says info in FBI probe led to arrest of intelligence director

OTTAWA — An RCMP employee charged with trying to disclose secret information… Continue reading

Most Read