Toshiba to build new battery plant

Toshiba to build new battery plant

Tokyo: Japan’s Toshiba Corp. said Wednesday it would build a new plant to manufacture rechargeable batteries in anticipation of strong demand for use in electric vehicles.

The company said it would invest 25 billion yen ($274 million) to build the new facility in Niigata prefecture, north of Tokyo. Construction is expected to be completed in October 2010.

The plant’s initial production capacity of 500,000 battery cells a month is expected to increase as electric vehicles become more widespread, it said.

It will produce Toshiba’s “Super Charge Ion Battery" or SCiB, which can be recharged to 90% of its capacity in as fast as five minutes and offers a high level of safety, according to the company.