Kajuk, a Japanese company, is the latest company to jump into the solar energy business, announcing plans to produce solar panels and batteries at a plant it plans to open in the city of Yokohama in western Japan.
Kaju, a joint venture between Panasonic Corp. and a Japanese firm, said on Monday that it would invest in a plant to process the solar cells and batteries it wants to sell for about 5 billion yen ($7.2 million), with an initial order of about 1 billion yen.
The plant would be used to produce the batteries, and it said it plans on building the factory in 2020.
The company has said that it plans not to use the battery cells for electric cars.
It is the third Japanese company to start producing solar cells for cars, and the first to build a plant that makes solar panels for cars.
The company said in June that it had started production of solar cells that would be sold to other Japanese companies.
Japan’s electric car market is estimated to be worth $US8.5 billion ($10.7 billion) by 2020, according to the Japanese Electric Vehicle Association.
Kyoto Electric, which makes batteries for electric vehicles, is also building a plant in Yokohamas to produce its batteries.
Kyoto Electric said in September that it was looking at a joint facility with Panasonic in order to make solar cells, and a company spokesman said last month that Panasonic had already expressed interest in a deal.
Solar panel manufacturing has been booming in Japan.
In August, the Japanese government said it would subsidize solar panel production by 30 billion yen, to cover the cost of installing solar panels at solar farms.
According to the industry body Japan Electric Power Co., the solar industry will contribute $4.3 billion to the country’s economy by 2020.