Nissan May Form A JV With NEC For Future Electric Car Batteries
The car in the photo is the Nissan Mixim, a futuristic all electric sports concept car developed by Nissan Motor Company. The Nikkei newspaper in Japan recently reported that Nissan would form a 50/50 joint venture with NEC for the mass production of lithium ion batteries. The complete details of the venture have not been publicly announced or confirmed by Nissan or NEC.
Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of both Renault and Nissan, has previously indicated that Nissan plans to launch their first electric car by 2010 and that both Nissan and Renault will have a complete line of electric vehicles by 2012 using NEC as one of their lithium ion battery suppliers. On January 21, 2008, Renault announced a JV called Project Better Place formed with the State of Israel to produce a Renault Electric Car by 2011 and a battery charging infrastructure using NEC as the lithium ion battery pack supplier.
NEC has developed their lithium ion battery technology with TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) and Fuji Heavy Industries on the Subaru R1e electric car. Fuji Heavy Industries and NEC have been running a joint venture called NEC Lamilion and the first Subaru R1e prototypes were tested in Japan in 2006. Nissan and Renault will use NEC batteries that are similar in technology to those installed in the Subaru R1e, expected to go into production in 2009.
The NEC battery is a manganese lithium ion battery cell that is just 9 mm thick. Its key commercial property is that it can be charged to 80% capacity in 15 minutes using an external commercial fast charger. The NEC lithium ion battery has an 85% usefulness after 7 years of use and 10000 km/year (6200 miles/year) driven. The thin profile allows for the dissipation of heat and hence a fast charging potential.