Monday, March 09, 2009

EU, Japan May Study Advanced Car Battery, Solar Cells FXI, HUI, XAU, GOOG, AAPL, RIMM, AMZN, CDNX, TNR.v, CZX.v

Lithium Batteries are becoming more and more front page announcement, more and more money will be spend to advance the subject, the apparent benefit will be Lithum as commodity to produce all these advanced batteries. Range of 500 km will make these toys cars.

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese and European Union officials are in talks to jointly develop advanced solar cells and rechargeable batteries for electric cars to help nations reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
About 100 officials and experts from both sides were invited to Tokyo for meetings today, said Ryo Nasu, the agency’s deputy director for energy strategy, in an interview.
Electric car development has been held back by heavy batteries that limit driving range. Germany’s Daimler AG, the second-largest maker of luxury autos, has said energy storage is “at the very heart” of running cars on power rather than gasoline and invested in making lighter lithium-ion batteries.
“This tie-up would be aimed at making these advanced technologies commercially viable by 2030 or later,” Nasu said. “Cooperation in technologies available for the next 10 years may be difficult for Japan and Europe, which now are competing against each other.”
Too-frequent recharging has undercut consumer interest in electric cars and curtailed investment by automakers to begin moving more people and goods with less greenhouse-gas emissions.
“Global challenges call for global responses,” said Catherine Ray, spokeswoman for the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm. “Science has no borders. The collaboration of ‘best brains’ is key for the development of state-of-art research.”
500-Kilometer Range
Developing a battery that can power an electric vehicle 500 kilometers (311 miles) on a single charging is feasible, said Yasushi Yamamoto, a spokesman for Japanese battery-maker
GS Yuasa Corp. “But we need promising demand growth for electric vehicles in the years ahead before embarking on the next-generation product.”
That kind of battery could be pioneered if Japan collaborates with Europe, the trade ministry’s Nasu said. A press briefing is planned tomorrow around 1:30 p.m. Japan time, Ray said. Conventional batteries can last up to about 150 kilometers per charge.
Sharp Corp. and GS Yuasa are among Japanese solar-power cell and battery makers that may benefit if a cooperation agreement is clinched by the two governments. Japan and Europe have pledged to boost use of alternative energy and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, blamed for global warming. If they fail they face penalties under the 1997 Kyoto climate-protection treaty.
‘Discussions at a Table’
“Governments shouldn’t spend too much time on research and discussion at a table, but they must get the private sector swiftly involved and make these technologies economically viable,” said Mitsushige Akino, who oversees about $615 million at Tokyo-based Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. in Tokyo. “Japanese battery and solar cell makers will then be able to move ahead with their future projects,” Akino said.
Stuttgart-based Daimler bought 49.9 percent stake in Li-Tec Vermoegensverwaltung GmbH, a developer of lithium-ion battery cells, which are lighter and more powerful than traditional nickel-hydride power packs.
Raffaele Liberali, director for energy at the European Commission’s Research Directorate-General, and Kazuhiko Hombu, director general of Japan’s Agency of Natural Resources and Energy, will co-chair the two-day meeting in Tokyo. The two governments will pick the advanced clean-energy technologies for a joint development after discussion.
A venture led by GS Yuasa plans to start supplying lithium- ion batteries in April to Mitsubishi Motors Corp. with its initial target sales of 2,000 units annually, spokesman Yamamoto said from Kyoto yesterday. The battery is capable of driving an electric vehicle as far as 160 kilometers.
New Solar Cells
Conventional solar panel cells are able to convert 16.5 percent of energy from the sun into electricity, according to Kyocera Corp., the world’s fourth-largest cell producer.
Japan’s trade ministry has previously said it sought a development of a new cell with the solar-to-electricity conversion ratio of more than 40 percent by 2030.
The International Energy Agency last year said the world needs $45 trillion in additional investment to develop clean technologies in order to cut annual emissions of the heat-trapping gases by half before mid-century.
The EU has said developed countries should cut their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels, whereas Japan will decide its emission target for 2020 by June.
-- With reporting by Todd White in Madrid. Editors: Amit Prakash, Clyde Russell.
To contact the reporter on this story: Shigeru Sato in Tokyo at
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