• Sep 21, 2010
Nissan Leaf battery pack – Click above for high-res image gallery

Nissan Motor Co., and Sumitomo Corporation have teamed up to establish a new joint venture focused on researching second-life options for lithium-ion batteries which no longer pack the punch required for electric vehicle (EV) duty. The joint-venture, 4R Energy, kicked off a study to "Reuse, Resell, Refabricate and Recycle" lithium-ion batteries.

Nissan will launch its battery-powered Leaf in the U.S. this fall, followed by a global introduction in 2012. The company predicts that sales of its EVs may exceed 100,000 in a few year's time. Dealing with mass quantities of spent batteries at some point down the line will be no easy task, but Nissan and Sumitomo believe that their joint effort will lead to a well-developed second-life business model for automotive batteries. Hit the jump to discover what's in store for lithium-ion batteries after their years of providing power for EVs come to a halt.

Photos by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Nissan]


Nissan and Sumitomo Establish Joint Research Company for Promotion of '4R Energy' Business

YOKOHAMA (September 15, 2010) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Corporation today announced that a new joint-venture company was established on September 14th. The company will conduct research on the second-life use of lithium-ion batteries that have been used previously in electric cars.

Naming a second-life business for recyclable advanced lithium-ion batteries as the "4R Energy" business in October 2009, both companies started a joint study to "Reuse, Resell, Refabricate and Recycle" the lithium ion batteries used in electric cars.

Nissan will launch Nissan LEAF, the company's first affordable, mass-marketed, 100% electric car, in December 2010 in Japan and the United States, followed by the global release in 2012. Meanwhile, in April 2010, Sumitomo launched a new division, the New Business Development & Promotion Division, which is responsible for environmental businesses and is working on developing new approaches to realizing a low-carbon, recycling-based society.

While the EV market is expanding, the new joint-venture company will work towards developing the second-life battery business. This will meet management goals for the battery's entire value chain and energy-storage solutions. As part of this new business development, the company will conduct demonstration tests and undertake a commercialization study.

<New Company Outline>
  • Company Name: 4R Energy Corporation
  • President: Takashi Sakagami
  • Company Address: 1-1-1, Takashima, Nishi-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Capital: 450 million yen
  • Date of Establishment: September 14, 2010
  • Stakeholders: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (51%)
  • Sumitomo Corporation (49%)
  • Business Description: Demonstration tests and commercialization study for second-life use of lithium-ion batteries for automotive use
  • Targeted Region: Japan and North America

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