Nissan and Nec aims to manufacture enough lithium ion batteries for 100,000 electric cars

The firms original blueprint called for a 13.7 billion yen (US$152.4 million) investment by the end of the year through March 31, 2011, with manufacturing to begin at a factory in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, next spring.

By spending an additional 10 billion yen, they now aim to lift the operation’s annual output capacity by 50 per cent to enough lithium ion battery electrodes for 100,000 cars, up from an initial plan for 65,000 cars. The two firms are now conducting test production at the Sagamihara factory.

All output will be sold to Automotive Energy Supply Corp., a joint venture between Nissan Motor Co. (TSE:7201) and the NEC group. This joint venture aims to manufacture enough lithium ion batteries for 100,000 cars in the year ending March 31, 2011.

Japan’s Nissan Motor Co plans to invest 50 billion yen to boost battery production for electric vehicles produced by its French partner Renault. Automotive Energy Supply Corp., Nissan’s joint venture with the NEC group, will upgrade its plant for lithium ion batteries in Kanagawa prefecture, southwest of Tokyo.

Nissan separately plans to invest some 30 billion yen to jointly build a new plant with Renault in France to supply lithium ion batteries for Renault’s electric cars. Nissan’s chief executive Carlos Ghosn said last month his company aims to make rechargeable batteries for electric cars one of its key businesses, predicting a bright future for zero-emission vehicles.

Nissan and NEC also plan to build lithium-ion battery plants in the US, the UK and Portugal ahead of 2012 bringing their worldwide lithium-ion battery supply capacity to around 500,000 electric cars. Renault SA and alliance partner Nissan Motor Co. will develop and make electric-car batteries in a French government-backed joint venture with the country’s CEA energy research agency.