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article imageNissan quits EV batteries, selling out to Envision Group

By Karen Graham     Aug 10, 2018 in Business
Nissan has decided to get rid of its EV battery subsidiary, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), to Envision Group, a Chinese renewable energy group. The two companies announced the deal August 3, 2018.
And while the price of the deal has not been disclosed, Nissan will keep a minority stake in AESC. Nissan was the first automaker to mass-market an all-electric car, the very popular Nissan Leaf, and was the only automaker to produce its own electric batteries for its cars in-house, starting in the 1990s.
Nissan had problems with the durability of its earlier versions of the air-cooled battery packs it uses in the Nissan Leaf, with some of the batteries losing range after less than a year sometimes. And even though Nissan corrected some of the problems with the batteries, they found that the larger 30-kWh batteries in 2016 Leafs had even higher rates of degradation than earlier 24-kWh batteries.
As of December 2016  the Nissan Leaf is the world s all-time best-selling electric car with more tha...
As of December 2016, the Nissan Leaf is the world's all-time best-selling electric car with more than 250,000 units sold since 2010.
Mic from Reading - Berkshire, United Kingdom (CC BY 2.0)
Nissan even went so far as to develop a new nickel-manganese spinel cell for its 49 kWh batteries with the hope of reducing capacity loss. But other EV car makers are using outside companies like Panasonic and Korean conglomerate LG Chem to supply their batteries.
Tesla uses Panasonic for its car batteries, made especially for Teslas, while LG Chem makes batteries for General Motors, Volvo, Hyundai, Kia, and other automakers. Now, LG Chem will also make 60 wHr batteries for Nissan's new longer-range Leaf e-Plus, coming out in 2019.
Envision's plans
Envision’s CEO Lei Zhang said the renewable energy company that manages over 100GW of energy assets, plans on using its EnOS software. The company manages over 50 million smart devices using EnOS, including energy storage units, solar, wind, EVs, and home energy management systems.
Panorama of Envision s wind farm in Shanxi  China in 2015.
Panorama of Envision's wind farm in Shanxi, China in 2015.
Hahaheditor12667 (CC BY-SA 4.0)
So incorporating the batteries from AESC into energy deployment is only a next step. He added: "This will enable electric vehicles to be integrated into an energy ecosystem, and facilitate the intelligent, dynamic balancing of energy usage and generation in a world powered by fragmented renewable energy systems."
Envision is thinking big and is planning on upgrading the current AESC production facilities in Japan, the UK, and Smyrna, Tennessee while opening new facilities in China.
South Korea's LG Chem
So LG Chem, a South Korean firm will be making batteries for Nissan going forward. Founded in 1947, LG Chem is literally the company leading the chemical industry in Korea. In 2014, it was the 13th largest chemical company in the world by sales.
LG Chem began mass production of Korea’s first lithium-ion batteries back in 1999. By 2011, it was the world's third largest producer with an annual production capacity of 1,000 million cells. So it looks like Nissan is putting itself in some good hands.
More about Nissan, Envision group, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, IoT, operating system EnOS