Transportation & Fuel Source Technology
Nissan and NEC to Form New Company for Advanced Batteries
Nissan Motor Company, NEC Corporation, and its subsidiary, NEC
TOKIN Corporation, have signed an agreement to establish a
joint-venture company - Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC)
- to focus on lithium-ion battery business for wide-scale automotive
application by 2009.
Nissan and NEC Group will invest 490 million yen (approx. USD 4.1
million) in the partnership. AESC is expected to begin operations by
the end of April, 2007, and will operate as an independent company.
The new company will focus on the development and marketing of
advanced lithium-ion batteries, designed to power future generations
of electric-powered vehicles. After one year, the partnership will be
expanded to include mass production and sales. The new joint venture
will become the leading company in mass production of lithium-ion
batteries for the global automotive community using pioneering
technologies developed by Nissan and NEC Group.
NEC and NEC TOKIN bring expertise in cell technology and battery
manufacturing; while Nissan will focus on the cell stack for
real-world application in electric-powered vehicles. AESC's core
product will be advanced lithium-ion batteries for automotive
application and the company will be fully responsible to market its
products to other potential customers in the auto industry.
AESC will mass produce lithium-ion batteries with a set of unique
properties that makes them a highly competitive and appealing
energy-generation solution for automotive application. Among the
multiple advantages that the new batteries will offer are
cutting-edge and environmentally-friendly technology, cost
competitiveness, superior performance, safety, and versatility.
Nissan's partnership with NEC represents a key component of its
"Nissan Green Program 2010" mid-term environmental action plan, as
announced in December, 2006. "As a 'Sincere Eco-Innovator', Nissan
continues to develop forward-looking 'green technologies' that
contribute to sustainable mobility. Nissan will introduce our own
original hybrid vehicle by 2010, followed by our next generation
electric vehicle in the early part of the next decade," said Carlos
Tavares, Executive Vice President of Nissan.
"Together, Nissan and NEC's engineers have addressed the key
challenges of cost, performance, safety and reliability - we believe
that we have a breakthrough technology in the lithium-ion battery
product we will produce. Through AESC, this battery will be made
available to all automakers, and we expect this could further
accelerate the development of future generations of eco-friendly
vehicles," explained Tavares.
"NEC brings to the partnership years of knowledge, expertise, and
resources in lithium-ion battery technology through NEC TOKIN's
know-how, cultivated through long years of experience in battery
business. Further co-development with Nissan has enabled a
superior-class battery that we expect to spread in the market at an
unmatched speed due to the wealth of benefits it will assuredly bring
to our future eco-conscious customers," said Konosuke Kashima,
Executive Vice President of NEC. "Moreover, the alliance with Nissan
guarantees Nissan as a prospective customer of AESC. We will also
strive to accelerate growth by expanding marketing to auto
The evolution towards cleaner powertrains will see the
proliferation of a wider mix of electric-powered vehicles including
hybrids, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and electric
vehicles made available to customers. The establishment of AESC
demonstrates that both Nissan
firmly believe that lithium-ion
battery technology will become an important energy-source solution to
achieve a sustainable mobile society. Both companies are confident
that there will be a ready and growing market for lithium-ion
batteries in the next decade and beyond.
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