Automotive Energy Supply Corporation has kicked off pilot production of lithium ion batteries. For those who have not been paying enough attention, AESC is the joint venture between Nissan and NEC that is developing batteries for electric and hybrid batteries. The first AESC production line is located adjacent to Nissan's Zama Operations Center in Japan.

The initial capacity is 13,000 battery packs per year and that will go to 65,000 over the next year. AESC lithium batteries will initially be used in Nissan's upcoming 5-passenger EV and also with the new in-house developed hybrid system that will debut next year, likely in the new Infiniti M. Nissan is claiming its batteries have completed durability tests running over 60,000 miles. Hopefully, the real world performance will be significantly better than that or early adopters are going to be very, very unhappy!

Nissan plans to increase battery capacity rapidly over the next several years adding capacity in the U.S. and Europe. The company has also it will make batteries available to any automaker that wants to use them.

[Source: Nissan]

PRESS RELEASE:

AUTOMOTIVE ENERGY SUPPLY CORPORATION BEGINS TRIAL PRODUCTION OF LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES

TOKYO (July 16, 2009) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., NEC Corporation, and its subsidiary NEC TOKIN Corporation, today announced that its joint-venture company - Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) - has begun trial production of advanced lithium-ion batteries for a wide range of automotive applications at its Zama Operations Center.

With start-up capacity at 13,000 units/year, AESC will gradually ramp up production to 65,000 units/year by 2010.

Having twice the energy density of conventional nickel-hydride batteries, AESC's lithium-ion batteries employ a compact module comprised of laminated-type cells, that contribute to more efficient packaging. The use of manganese-type electrode offers thermal stability and the laminated structure improves cooling, thus contributing to the battery's safety performance. The battery has undergone extreme durability tests demonstrating average runs of more than 100,000 km(*) in field tests.

AESC will produce the lithium-ion batteries for Nissan's electric vehicle to be introduced in the U.S. and Japan, as well as Nissan's original hybrid vehicle, in 2010.

AESC intends to mass produce and market its batteries to any interested automaker, with an aim to become a global leader of advanced battery products and services.



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