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Nissan and electronics giant NEC Corporation, and its subsidiary NEC TOKIN have announced that their joint-venture company – Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) – has started full operations as of today.

The company is setup for one specific reason, for development and mass production of advanced lithium-ion batteries to supply to not only Nissan but other manufacturers as well. The company plans to build these batteries for a wide range of vehicles, including hybrids, electric vehicles and fuel-cell vehicles.

The partnership allows NEC and NEC TOKIN to combine their expertise in cell-technology and electrode production with Japanese the Japanese car manufacturer.

“Nissan firmly believes the ultimate solution for sustainable mobility lies in zero emission vehicles. Electric vehicles represent one clear strategic direction embedded in Nissan GT 2012, our new mid-term business plan,” said Carlos Tavares, executive vice president of Nissan.

Nissan, NEC Corporation and NEC TOKIN all own part of the company with the equity split standing at 51:42:7 respectively.

Batteries will be partially produced at Nissan’s Zama facility in Kanagawa Prefecture and the company is set to deliver its first battery by 2009. First year should see 13,000 units but that will increase to an expected production capacity of 65,000 units with.

Zama facility in Kanagawa Prefecture

Lithium-manganese electrodes will be produced separately at NEC’s Sagamihara Plant in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Toyota is still struggling to produce lithium-ion batteries for its hybrid range, however there is talk that the Big T has already begun investing in future technologies past lithium-ion.

Lithium-ion batteries use a compact laminated configuration which gives twice the electric juice compared to conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries with a cylindrical configuration.

Nissan is working hard to introduce its own range of hybrid vehicles to compete with its Japanese rivals. So far the company plans to launch an electric vehicle to the U.S. and Japan as well as Nissan’s original hybrid vehicle by 2010.

2012 should see Nissan bring its electric vehicles to Australia and the rest of the world.




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