Panasonic Corporation said it plans to refurbish an under used LCD plant in Japan for the production of automotive lithium-ion batteries, according to local reports.

The electronics giant and auto supplier plans to start battery production at its Himeji plant in Hyogo Prefecture in 2019 as it looks to strengthen its already significant exposure to the fast growing electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sectors.

Himeji will be Panasonic's sixth lithium-ion battery production facility in Japan and will strengthen a global network that includes a major partnership in Nevada with Tesla.

Earlier this year the company completed construction of a new automotive lithium-ion battery plant in China, called Panasonic Automotive Energy Dalian.

China is expected to drive growth in the global electric vehicle market in the next decade, with the government targeting 2m domestic sales by 2020 and 3m by 2025.

Local reports suggest Panasonic is the world's largest producer of lithium-ion batteries for passenger vehicles thanks to its strong position in the plug-in hybrid vehicle segment.