While the dark cloud that was the Better Place bankruptcy may have had a silver lining for some in Israel, in the US that cumulonimbus is wrapped with lithium. Or, more precisely, lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4) with a sprinkling of lithium nickel oxide (LiNiO2). That's because a boat load of batteries intended for those erstwhile BP swapping stations have found their way across the Atlantic and into the clutches of our friends over at EVTV.
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.
Lord Mandelson, the British Business Secretary visited a Nissan factory in Sunderland on Friday and got to see the Qazana crossover concept which will go into production there next year. Nissan is also expected to add production of electric vehicles at the plant and get some UK government money to make that happen. In addition to building EVs, Mandelson is urging Nissan to produce lithium ion batteries in the UK as well. Nissan has a joint venture with NEC called Automotive Energy Supply Corp wh
Nissan and NEC are apparently seeing a lot of potential for their lithium battery joint venture. The Japanese Nikkei is reporting that Automotive Energy Supply Corp. will spend upwards of $1.1 billion on production facilities for lithium ion batteries to be used in hybrid and electric vehicles. The original production plan for 13,000 units in 2010 and 65,000 in 2011 has apparently been pulled ahead a year. The 2011 target is now for 200,000 batteries a year.