In a another sign of the way that the auto industry is approaching an inflection point, it’s appears that after years of teasing on the matter, Sony will finally be entering the electric vehicle battery manufacturing business.
One should be reminded here that Sony (as well as Panasonic) recently submitted a tender for the Formula E 2018 battery deal. As it stands, Xalt Energy provides the cells used in Formula E batteries.
Push EVs provides more, noting, “Sony has recently released its new 3000 mAh 18650 cell, the VCT6, which is still behind the 3500 mAh cells that Sanyo, LG Chem, and Samsung SDI already produce in the same cylindrical format. Yet the Sony VC7 cell is coming and it will match the 3500 mAh capacity. This is especially important for battery makers that use 18650 cylindrical cells. Such as Kreisel Electric or Imecar. The 18650 cells are great for third party battery makers, since their tiny size allows them to adapt to any battery pack. But for electric car makers, prismatic or pouch cells are preferable since they make the task of building a battery pack a lot easier.”
Considering that electric vehicle (EV) batteries are going to be the main supply bottleneck for the upcoming auto market’s embrace of EVs, the entry of Sony into the field is very notable.
Most of the other manufacturers (Panasonic, LG Chem, etc.) already have more or less all of their production capacity locked up for the coming years — meaning that there’s not much left for the auto manufacturers that are running behind, thereby limiting potential EV sales for the firms in question. Sony’s entry into the field should open things up a bit more.
As PushEVs notes at the end, “Even if Sony isn’t chosen to be the Formula E cell supplier, it doesn’t matter. Sony is preparing to become a major cell supplier for electric vehicles batteries.”