A joint venture comprising Mazda, ELIIY Power Co. and Ube Industries is to develop durable and heat- and impact-resistant 12V lithium-ion batteries as a viable replacement for lead-acid starter batteries in motor vehicles by 2021.
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, a leader in the field of high-quality motorcycle stationary batteries and starter batteries, will leverage its experience in developing safe, waterproof, impact-resistant battery technologies with excellent cold-weather performance to lead design and development of the basic battery unit.
Ube Industries, a key figure in the development of key components such as electrolytes and separators, will use its accumulated expertise and engineering prowess to develop an electrolyte with a higher flash point and better heat resistance.
Lithium-ion batteries offer a promising alternative to conventional lead-acid car batteries, as environmental regulations in some regions restrict the use of lead and engineers aim to reduce vehicle weight for improved fuel economy.
However, their application in motor vehicles so far has been limited due to the need for car batteries to withstand the high temperatures of the engine room and the potential impact forces of a collision.