pre-orders for the Nissan
Leaf closely approaching 20,000, Nissan and
joint venture Automotive
Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), the battery developer for
electric and hybrid vehicles, are almost
doubling production of lithium-ion batteries from 54,000 to
90,000 per year.
accommodate this increase in production, AESC is adding another
production line in its facility in Zama, Japan especially for
additional manufacturing of li-ion batteries. In addition to the
Leaf, Nissan will be launching three other electric vehicles over
the next few years and Renault will be launching four more, which
calls for an increased amount of batteries and makes the extra
production line a necessity.
Corporation, and NEC
TOKIN Corporation joined together to make AESC in 2007 to
develop and manufacture batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.
AESC has created batteries with "thin, laminated lithium-ion
cells housed in a flat assembly beneath the floor" and "is
intended to accept several rapid charging scenarios including a 50
kilowatt 'fast charge' which gives 80% charge in 30 minutes, or a
five minute fast charge which delivers an additional 31 miles of
range." In addition, reports
show that the batteries for the Leaf only cost $375 per
kilowatt, which is a $9,000 battery pack.
Nissan's President and CEO Carlos Ghosn announced in early May that
the Leaf and seven other electric vehicles from Renault-Nissan will
"be backed by battery production capacity for 500,000
EV's per year."
other automaker will be producing
electric batteries or cars at such a scale. And customers
are ready," said Ghosn. "To date, 130,000 consumers in the
U.S. have registered their interest in buying a Nissan Leaf. With
sales starting this December, 13,000 pre-orders have been submitted
in just over one month in the U.S. and Japan, largely driven
customer demand. This amount already surpasses our available
production capacity for fiscal year 2010."
added that production will only reach 500,000 if demand is strong.
Currently, pre-order sales are at approximately
features on the Leaf such as a 100 mile range per charge on an 8 hour
recharge time lithium-ion battery, prices as
low as $32,780 (before a $7,500 federal tax credit) and
even a "whistle" that alerts pedestrians when the vehicle is driving at low
speeds, Nissan has high hopes for their new electric vehicle.