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Mar 25, 2010

Panasonic's New Lithium-Ion Battery Plant to Start Mass Production Next Month

- The new flagship battery plant has an integrated manufacturing system from electrode fabrication to cell production -

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation, a world leading consumer electronics company, celebrated today the completion of its new lithium-ion battery production facility in Suminoe, Osaka City, at a ceremony held on the premises. With the first phase of construction complete, the new factory serves as Panasonic's flagship manufacturing base for lithium-ion batteries, whose demand is growing fast amid environmental concerns.

Lithium-ion batteries are used not only in mobile devices such as notebook computers and mobile phones, but also for eco-friendly cars, backup power source and household energy storage systems that consist of solar panels and fuel cells. Global demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to reach 3.2 trillion yen, more than five times the current level, by the fiscal year ending March 2019.

The Suminoe Factory began manufacturing electrodes last October, and will now begin mass production of battery cells this April starting with an initial capacity of 10 million units per month during the first year of operations. Panasonic plans to gradually increase the production capacity up to 25 million per month (300 million units per year) during the first phase, taking into consideration market conditions. The factory will manufacture mainly Panasonic's high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, featuring its unique nickel-based positive electrodes, to meet the ever-growing demands for higher-capacity batteries. The company will decide the timing of the second phase of construction at a later date while taking into account the market conditions.

The Suminoe Factory has been designed with a "safe, secure, and eco-conscious factory" concept. It offers integrated manufacturing from electrode fabrication to battery cell production, using advanced high-efficiency production equipment to achieve high productivity with reduced production lead times.

In addition, the safety management system at Suminoe Factory provides multilevel fire-safe measures, including fire prevention, early-stage extinguishing, and fire spread prevention. The Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency Osaka (CASBEE Osaka), a criterion used to evaluate environmental performance of buildings, highly rates its office buildings with the top S-class grade and its factory buildings with an equally high A-class grade. Lastly, an advanced water purification technology is employed to enable 100% recycling of waste water created from manufacturing processes.

Capitalizing on its enhanced production capabilities that combine its existing factories with the main factory in Suminoe, Panasonic will now meet the expanding demand for the batteries in a more timely and flexible manner.

<Profile of Suminoe Factory>

Name: Suminoe Factory, Energy Company, Panasonic Corporation
Location: 1-2-63 Hirabayashi-Kita, Suminoe Ward, Osaka City, Osaka
Start of production: October 2009: Electrode production started
April 2010: Cell production to start
Products: Lithium-ion batteries
Production Capacity: 1st phase: Up to 300 million cells per year (25 million per month)
FY2011 to end March 2011: 10 million per month
Area space: 1st phase: Approximately 111,000 square meters
Floor space: 1st phase: Approximately 94,000 square meters

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.77 trillion yen (US$78.4 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2009. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE: PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net.

Media Contacts:

Akira Kadota, International PR
Panasonic Corporation
Tel: 03-6403-3040 Fax: 03-3436-676
Panasonic News Bureau
Tel: 03-3542-6205 Fax: 03-3542-9018
*The content in the following news releases is accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice. Please note therefore that these documents may not always contain the most up-to-date information.

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