Yuasa faces new battery problems

It’s been widely reported that lithium-ion car batteries produced by GS Yuasa, the same Japanese company that supplies batteries for the grounded Boeing 787 jetliner fleet, have overheated in the last few days.

The problems this time are with lithium-ion batteries used in Mitsubishi’s iMiEV electric vehicle. The company revealed that two such units had caught fire on the assembly line during testing.

No one was hurt in the incident, that took place on 12 March this year, but it has knocked a sizable chunk off of Yuasa’s share price. Marc Birtel, a Boeing spokesman, has stated that test flights aimed at restoring grounded 787s to service will not be affected by this new issue, the company having been assured that “the battery in question is fundamentally different from the 787 battery both in its construction processes, design and chemistry.”

Estonia first with vehicle charging network

Estonia has become the first country in the world to install a nationwide system of fast chargers for electrical vehicles as part of European efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Reuters reports.

The 165 chargers were produced and installed by engineering group ABB, and construction was financed from the government’s sale of 10 million surplus CO2 emission permits to Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation.

The 2011 deal with Mitsubishi also provided the government with more that 500 electric cars and the financing of a subsidiary system for people to purchase electric cars.

Energy storage for Chilean power plant

AES Energy Storage recently announced that Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture of Mitsubishi Corporation and GS Yuasa, will be supplying advanced battery energy storage systems for its new Cochrane power station.

The project is the company’s third energy storage facility in Northern Chile, integrating 20MW of advanced battery-based energy storage with a 532MW thermal power plant. The project is owned by AES Gener, the second largest power generator in the country, and Mitsubishi Corporation.

Mitsubishi to demonstrate energy storage

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and SSE (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy) are planning a 2MW lithium-ion energy storage system project in the Orkney Islands. The project aims at demonstrating power supply stabilisation in the region, which currently enjoys a large but variable quantity of wind-produced renewable energy.

It will be conducted with the support of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation of Japan and should go live in early 2013.