Monday, May 19, 2008

Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) will spend $115 million for a new lithium-ion battery plant

In a move to catch up with the growing hybrid vehicle and electric vehicle market, Japan’s third largest automobile producer Nissan Motor Company (TYO: 7201) with NEC Corporation (TYO: 6701) announced that their joint venture lithium-ion battery producing company Automotive Energy Supply Corporation will spend $115 million over the next three years in building Nissan’s first battery production line at Nissan’s Zama facility in Kanagawa prefecture. In the beginning, the plant is targeting to produce 13,000 units which will be increased to 65,000 by 2011. The batteries produced will be used in Nissan Motor Company’s hybrid and electric vehicle aimed to be released by 2010. reports:

Nissan (nasdaq: NSANY - news - people ) and NEC (nasdaq: NIPNY - news - people ) last year set up Automotive Energy Supply Corp., a joint venture that aims to capitalise on its parents' technology to develop and produce lithium ion batteries for Nissan and other manufacturers of hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles in the world. Nissan holds a 51 percent stake in the venture and NEC jointly owns the rest with its subsidiary NEC Tokin Corp.

NEC Tokin has separately allocated 11.0 billion yen to build over the next three years its own facility within NEC's Sagamihara plant site in Kanagawa to mass-produce lithium-manganese electrodes for the joint venture by 2009.

Last year, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) announced its plan to supply batteries for forklift trucks. Nissan is now looking forward to introduce electronic vehicle in Japan, the United States, Israel and Denmarke by 2011. The company will go into mass marketing from 2012. At a news conference, Nissan’s Executive Vice President Carlos Tavares told that Nissan was determined to become a leader in this next shift in global mobility and the advanced battery technology developed by the joint venture was critical to achieve that goal.

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