2010 Nissan Leaf EV - Click above for high-res image gallery

Though the Nissan Leaf has yet to even sniff a dealer's lot anywhere in the world, the automaker's Chief, Carlos Ghosn, says his company is already hard at work on the electric car's next-gen battery technology. Not surprisingly, the goals are to make the pack smaller, lighter and less expensive than the current lithium ion unit that will allow a 100-mile range. So far, there's no word on what type of chemistry Nissan is exploring.

Of course, all this research and development into high-tech batteries doesn't come cheap, and Nissan is planning to recoup some of that cost by offering its proprietary lithium ion battery technology to other automakers. Soon, the Japanese company will be able to produce 200,000 batteries per year at its dedicated plant in Smyrna, TN.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req'd]

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