TOKYO - Japan's Sanyo Electric, the world's largest maker of rechargeable batteries, said on Thursday it would supply Suzuki Motor with lithium-ion battery systems for its plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Suzuki, 20 percent owned by Germany's Volkswagen, will install the systems in 60 of its Swift small cars and begin test drives later this year.

Japan's No. 4 carmaker has not decided when it will begin commercial sales of cars.

Suzuki is the fifth automaker to choose Sanyo as a supplier of lithium-ion batteries.

Sanyo is also supplying Ford and Honda with nickel-metal hydride batteries and has been co-developing next generation nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries with the VW group.

It has also agreed with France's PSA Peugeot Citroen to co-develop nickel-metal hydride batteries.