December 8, 2006

Honda enters solar cell business

Tokyo, Japan – Honda Motor Company has announced plans to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary, Honda Soltec Co., which will produce and sell a next-generation thin film solar cell independently developed by Honda. The new company will lead Honda into a full-scale entry in the solar cell business.

Using a thin film made from a compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenium, Honda’s solar cell achieves a 50 per cent reduction in the amount of energy needed to manufacture the cell over conventional crystal silicon solar cells, reducing the amount of CO2 generated even from the production stage.

Honda began construction of a plant at the end of September 2006 to mass-produce solar cells within the current site of its Kumamoto factory. The new facility will become operational in fall 2007. Prior to start-up of the new plant, Honda Soltec will begin sales in limited areas in March 2007 of the new cells, produced by Honda Engineering. Once mass production begins in Kumamoto in fall 2007, Honda Soltec will expand sales throughout Japan.

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