Honda Establishes Solar Cell Subsidiary

Tokyo, Japan-headquartered Honda Motor Co. Ltd. has entered the solar industry with its plans to establish a wholly owned subsidiary, Honda Soltec Co. Ltd., which will produce thin film solar cells.

By using thin film made from a compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS), Honda Soltec's solar cell will reduce the amount of energy consumed during the manufacturing process by approximately 50% – compared to what is required to produce conventional crystal silicon solar cells, the company says. The CIGS compound was developed by Honda Engineering Co. Ltd., the production engineering subsidiary of Honda.

At the end of September 2006, Honda began construction of a plant to mass produce solar cells within the current site of Honda's Kumamoto factory. The new facility will become operational in fall 2007 with an annual capacity of 27.5 MW.

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