Nissan Gets Set To Make Heart Of Electric Vehicle
HONG KONG - Nissan Motor is pressing ahead with its plan to become a leader in zero-emission electric cars, announcing Monday that it will build manufacturing facilities with NEC to produce lithium-ion batteries by 2009.
Early in April, Nissan (nasdaq: NSANY - news - people ) entered into a joint venture with NEC (nasdaq: NIPNY - news - people ) to develop advanced lithium-ion batteries, the rechargeable heart for electric and hybrid vehicles. The joint-venture company, called Automotive Energy Supply Corp., will spend 12 billion yen ($114.6 million) spread over a three-year period to build production facilities at a Nissan campus in Kanagawa Prefecture.
The joint venture, split between Nissan and NEC at a ratio of 51% to 49%, was officially launched Monday. The plant is slated to commence operations by 2009 with an initial annual production capacity of 13,000 units, expanding to 65,000 units. The companies said that their lithium-ion batteries, featuring a compact laminated configuration, will be able to supply twice as much electric power as nickel-metal hydride batteries, which use a cylindrical configuration, but at only half the size.
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