Breakthrough Success in Miniaturization
The compact Li-ion battery
Nissan LEAF Platform
In 1996 Nissan became the world's first automaker to install a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery in one of its models. In the following years, Nissan built on its rich experience and market data to achieve a compact Li-ion battery using laminated-cell construction.
Nissan's compact Li-ion battery features smaller size, higher power output, and higher capacity than conventional cylindrical cells. This makes it ideal for use in automobiles and a natural choice for electric, fuel-cell and hybrid electric vehicles.
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Global Lithium-ion Battery Production
In Japan, lithium-ion batteries for Nissan LEAF are produced at the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) plant in Zama, Kanagawa Pre fecture, a joint venture launched by Nissan and NE C Corporation. Battery modules, each containing four battery cells, are assembled and then shipped to the Nissan Oppama facility, where 48 of them are assembled into the electric car's battery pack, which is then fitted into Nissan LEAF.
The production of Nissan LEAF and the EV batteries outside Japan is also underway. In the United States, we began production of the batteries at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, in December 2012. At full production speed, the plant will produce up to 150,000 EVs and 200,000 Li-ion battery packs per year, creating up to 1,300 new jobs.
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For the European market, we have already been manufacturing Li-ion batteries at the Sunderland Plant in the United Kingdom. In March 2013 Sunderland also began manufacturing EVs themselves. Once fully ramped up, the plant will have annual production capacity of 50,000 EVs and 60,000 battery packs, and will provide jobs directly to 200 workers and indirectly create 600 new jobs in the U.K. supply chain.
Joint Venture to Promote Second-life Use for Batteries
Even after the high-performance lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries used in Nissan's EVs reach the end of their useful life in cars, they retain the capacity to let them play useful roles. "4R" business models?which reuse, resell, refabricate and recycle Li-ion batteries?allow their effective use for energy storage solutions in a range of applications, thus creating a much more efficient energy cycle of battery use.
As the EV market expands, Nissan sees a need to utilize renewable Li-ion batteries more effectively. In 2010 we launched 4R Energy Corporation, a joint venture with Sumitomo Corp. This company is developing and testing stationary power units based on used EV batteries. Japan is expected to see rising demand for stationary batteries as part of energy storage and backup power systems that also feature solar panels on homes or business structures, and 4R Energy is installing such batteries in houses and apartment buildings. 4R Energy home-use Li-ion battery systems have already been installed in Park Tower Shinonome, a 585-unit residential structure built by Mitsui Fudosan Residential Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, and in Smart Solabo, a "smart house" designed by Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd.