Sony Jumps Into Electric Vehicle Battery Market $SNE

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Sony said this month that it will produce lithium ion batteries forelectric vehicles and start selling them by the middle of the decade.

"Sony’s batteries have an advantage of long life, and they do not haveto be frequently replaced," the company said, according to Nikkei Electronics. "Therefore, they are suited for EVs. We want to enter the market by the mid-2010s."

Sony has already made a prototype and is now under negotiation withseveral automakers in and outside Japan. It aims to sell Li-ionbatteries for use in not only EVs but also hybrid vehicles and plug-inhybrid vehicles. Rival Panasonic already produces batteries for TeslaMotors and Toyota.

The Japanese giant may be having trouble in its consumer division, butlike Toshiba, Sharp, Panasonic and other conglomerates, the companystill wields impressive hardware engineering divisions.

Sony rolled out the lithium ion battery for notebooks and consumerelectronics back in the early 90s. It was arguably a first. ExxonMobilactually produced the first lithium battery, way back in 1977. Exxon’sbattery relied on a different chemistry and the oil giant lost interestin the project after oil prices plunged in the early 80s.

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