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Panasonic Begins Manufacture of 3.1Ah 18650 Li-ions and Is Working on Next Gen
In brief: Panasonic began production of their 3.1Ah 18650 format lithium-ion cells this month and is looking ahead towards 3.4Ah output next year and 4.0Ah in 2012-13.
The next generation 3.4Ah will be similar to the current generation 3.1, but more dense. The 4.0Ah generation, however, will be using a different silica-based alloy for the electrode, which results in a higher energy density (800Wh/L vs. 620 Wh/L now).
The trick is in the mass production aspect, which is what Panasonic is working on now.
This is good news for makers of electrics and hybrids as it means that by 2015, high energy density at more affordable and manufacture cost will be available.
And so ...
The down side to these cells is the voltage drop from 3.6V to 3.4V) along with a higher mass (44 to 54 g/cell). No small thing, but likely outweighed by the benefits.
Photo credits: Panasonic
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