TOKYO, February 16, 2016 _ Ube Industries, Ltd. today announced that its high-performance coated separator films have been adopted for lithium-ion batteries used in the fourth generation Prius that was released by Toyota Motor Corporation in December 2015.
The high-performance coated separator films are manufactured and marketed by Ube Maxell Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Ube Industries and Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.
Ube Industries' cost competitive three-layer dry separator films are widely used in lithium-ion batteries equipped in hybrid vehicles (HVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs), and electric vehicles (EVs) in markets in and outside of Japan.
Ube Maxell's high-performance coated separator films combine separator base films made by Ube Industries, with sophisticated dispersion technique and high speed/high precision coating technologies from Hitachi Maxell, realizing various performance advantages including superior reliability. As a result, there has been growth for lithium-ion battery applications for automobile use in markets in and outside of Japan, with sales volumes steadily increasing.
The high-performance coated separator films used in the lithium-ion batteries for the fourth generation Toyota Prius were chosen for their excellent safety, behavioral stability at high battery temperatures, and high input/output characteristics.
Ube Industries is expanding its production capacity for separator films at the Ube Chemical Factory and Sakai Factory. By June 2017, Ube Industries expects to increase its production capacity by a further 40% from current levels, to a capacity of approximately 200 million square meters. Additionally, Hitachi Maxell is expanding its processing capacity for coated separator films in cooperation with Ube Maxell.
Ube Industries, Hitachi Maxell, and Ube Maxell will pursue timely R&D and investment to increase production capacity, in step with market trends. The companies will continue to strengthen their presence in the growing market for automotive lithium-ion batteries and drive market growth through environmentally friendly applications.