Nissan and Chinese battery manufacturer Envision AESC plan to invest more than 200 billion yen (just under 1.5 billion euros) in battery factories for electric cars in the UK and Japan. The two plants are expected to deliver battery output for 700,000 electric vehicles per year from 2024.
This was reported in the Japanese business paper Nikkei. The report does not specify whether the plants will produce battery cells alone or also modules and systems. There were hints of a planned battery plant in Great Britain only a few days ago. Several media reported that it is to be built at the Nissan plant in Sunderland and will have an annual capacity of six GWh from 2024 – more than three times as much as the existing AESC plant with its current capacity of 1.9 GWh per year (cells are built for the 40 kWh pack of the Nissan Leaf, among others).
The article does not give any further details about the planned plant in Japan. In Kanagawa, Japan, Envision AESC already has a production facility with an annual capacity of 2.6 GWh.
Nissan had sold its battery subsidiary AESC to Envision Group in 2018, but still holds a minority stake. The battery company, which has since traded under the name Envision AESC, operates a plant in the United States as well as in the UK and Japan. According to the company, annual production capacity currently totals 7.5 GWh – 3 GWh in the US state of Tennessee and the aforementioned 2.6 GWh in Japan and 1.9 GWh in Sunderland, UK. In 2019 AESC Envision also started construction of a plant in Wuxi, China, which is expected to have an annual capacity of 20 GWh. It is unclear to what extent production is already underway there.
According to Nikkei, both plants will be new production facilities rather than expansions of existing ones. Output is to be increased from batteries for 200,000 electric vehicles to batteries for 900,000 vehicles. If the 7.5 GWh of current production capacity is taken into account, the target value would correspond to a production capacity of almost 34 GWh. According to Nikkei, all batteries produced in the plants will be supplied to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.