Renault-Nissan Considers Also Using A123 Batteries in Electric Cars

Whether the company will use its NEC co-developed battery or adapt A123 cells will depend on the particular market.

Published: 25-Jan-2008

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is considering using lithium-ion batteries from A123Systems in its forthcoming electric vehicle projects in addition to those from the Nissan-NEC joint venture Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) (earlier post), according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

"In some markets, we will use Nissan-NEC battery technology, and in others we are thinking about adopting technology from A123 Systems," one of the individuals said.
The Renault-Nissan alliance this week announced a project with Project Better Place to catalyze the mass-market deployment of electric vehicles in Israel. (Earlier post.) Renault will supply electric vehicles equipped with lithium-ion batteries produced by AESC Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC).

The EVs—based on a new C-segment sedan that could be seen, according to Renault, as a "new Megane sedan"—will have motor and power electronics specifications to deliver acceleration similar to a 1.6 L 16v gasoline engine. For example, 0-100 km/h on the given vehicle will be around 13s, according to Renault. The battery pack will be designed to give the amount of power for such acceleration and it will have enough energy to give a range of at least 100 km in real usage conditions (urban drive, air conditioning and so on).

Renault and Nissan are also developing electric vehicles with the intent of launching them by 2010 in locations not targeted by Project Better Place.

"As far as choosing battery technology for each of those projects is concerned, in some markets Renault and Nissan make the decision, and in others Shai Agassi is the one who is going to make that decision," one of the individuals familiar with the matter said.

According to those individuals, while various technologies have been studied, it is becoming a toss-up between the technology Nissan developed in-house with help from Japan’s NEC Corp. and the one developed by A123Systems of Watertown, Mass.

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