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Mazda consortium to work on 12V li-ion batteries

12V lead-acid starter battery

Mazda, ELIIY Power and Ube Industries will develop 12V lithium-ion replacements for lead-acid batteries

The three companies will work together to develop durable, heat- and impact-resistant batteries as a viable replacement for lead-acid starter batteries in motor vehicles by 2021.

The use of li-ion batteries in conventional vehicles so far has been limited, due to the need for car batteries to withstand the high temperatures of the engine block and the potential for damage during a collision. The latest agreement between Mazda, ELIIY Power and Ube Industries will see the group work to overcome such issues.

Mazda will conduct model-based research of the chemical reactions that occur inside batteries, develop technologies to manage high-performance batteries from a vehicle-total perspective and develop a general purpose model for their use.

ELIIY Power makes high-quality stationary batteries and starter batteries for motorcycles. The company will leverage its experience in developing safe, water-proof, impact-resistant battery technologies with excellent cold-weather performance to lead design and development of the basic battery unit.

As a leader in the development of key components such as electrolytes and separators, Ube Industries has made significant contributions to improving the performance of lithium-ion batteries and expanding their range of applications. Its functional electrolytes have brought improvements in battery safety and longevity, and enabled higher capacity for higher voltage batteries. The company will use its accumulated expertise and engineering prowess to develop an electrolyte with a higher flash point and better heat resistance.

In light of global trends in environmental regulations, the joint development project aims to make a next-generation battery for widespread use in place of conventional lead-acid starter batteries and contribute to the realization of a safe and stress-free motorized society.

In addition, the three companies will assess prospects for further collaboration in a range of fields, including using the technologies that result from this project as base for other low-voltage lithium-ion batteries applicable to vehicle electrification technologies other than starter batteries.


If successful, it’s possible Mazda may be able to take some of the knowledge gained here and apply it to fully electric vehicles in future. Although the company has been slow to adopt EVs, it signed an agreement with Toyota last year and has said it may look into manufacturing a model of its own.



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