Li-ion polymer batteries: Sanyo provides additional financing to its subsidiary APB

Japanese chemical firm Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd. will provide additional financing to its subsidiary APB Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, for the development of bipolar all-polymer lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, reports.

Sanyo will provide ¥700mn ($6.8mn) of additional funds to start-up battery producer APB. Japanese casting and equipment producer Sintokogio and major private-sector bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial will also invest a total of ¥400mn in APB, although the exact breakdown of their contribution is unclear. The batteries will be manufactured at APB’s Takefu factory in Fukui prefecture, part of Japan’s Honshu island, with the production line to be set up by Sintokogio Ltd., Nagoya, Japan.

This latest round of funding takes the total that APB has secured for the project to ¥10bn. This includes investments by Japanese firms in June and March.

Sanyo aims to produce sample batteries by April next year and begin operations at the Takefu plant in the autumn of 2021.

The all-polymer batteries have higher energy density and storage compared with conventional batteries and are expected to enable EVs to achieve longer driving ranges. The batteries, which are made of resins, also have higher resilience to shock, while production costs are lower because of their simple bipolar structure.

Sanyo cancelled a business integration agreement with catalyst producer Nippon Shokubai in October. But Sanyo’s development of bipolar all-polymer Li-ion batteries is unaffected by the decision.

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