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Jul 14, 2010

Panasonic to Support Student Challengers from Holland and Japan in Dream Cup Solar Car Race Suzuka 2010

Panasonic provides its high-capacity lithium-ion batteries to solar car teams of <br>the Delft University of Technology and Osaka Sangyo University

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation today announced it will provide its 3.1 Ah high-capacity lithium-ion batteries to the Nuon Solar Team of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and the OSU Team of Osaka Sangyo University in Japan to support their participation in the Dream Cup Solar Car Race Suzuka 2010 to be held at the Suzuka International Racing Course in Suzuka City, western Japan, on July 31 and August 1. Panasonic's batteries will be used to store solar-generated power in their vehicles.

The Dream Cup Solar Car Race Suzuka, an international solar car race recognized by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), was started in 1992. This year's competition will mark its 19th year. It has the second-longest history as a solar car race after the renowned World Solar Challenge, a part of the Global Green Challenge (GCC) in Australia.

A total of 84 teams representing universities, corporations and other groups in Japan and other countries will participate in the race this year including both student teams in the Dream Class. The contestants in this class will compete to race for the greatest number of laps around the 5.8 km racecourse in eight hours in two-four hour heats.

Solar cars use motors which run on electricity generated by solar panels. Excess electricity is stored in their batteries. The batteries supply electricity to the motor when the electricity from the solar panel is insufficient due to overcast skies or at night. In other words, the performance of solar cars in races depends not only on the capability of their solar panels but also the capacity of the batteries and the weight of the battery pack.

The Panasonic batteries provided to both teams are cylindrical 18650-type (18 mm in diameter, 65 mm in height) 3.1 Ah high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. The batteries feature the industry's highest level energy density thanks to its unique nickel based positive electrode technology. Because they are light and high-capacity, they last longer and can make battery packs lighter.

The Dutch and Japanese teams selected the Panasonic batteries to get an edge in the race that will be conducted under the strict weight restrictions on the batteries installed in the solar car. Panasonic supplied its 18650-type high-capacity lithium-ion batteries to the Challenge Center Team of Tokai University, who won in 2009 World Solar Challenge. The Delft and Osaka teams are expected to achieve outstanding results this year.
Panasonic will further contribute to clean energy areas such as electric vehicles and household energy storage and backup systems with its high-capacity, lightweight and durable lithium-ion batteries employing nickel based positive electrode.

Prior to the race in Suzuka, the Consulate General of the Netherlands Osaka-Kobe organized a ceremony to unveil the solar car of the Dutch team at Panasonic's Suminoe Factory in Osaka today. The solar car will be on display for public viewing in the front lobby of Osaka City Hall on July 20 and 21.

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 7.42 trillion yen (US$79.4 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2010. 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.

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