Nissan says it will make next-generation EV batteries by early 2029

Nissan says it will make next-generation EV batteries by early 2029

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) – Nissan expects to mass-produce electric vehicles powered by advanced next-generation batteries by early 2029, the company said Tuesday during a media tour of an unfinished pilot plant.

The legacy Japanese automaker has fallen behind new rivals such as America’s Tesla and China’s BYD in the emerging all-electric auto sector.

But Nissan, like other companies, sees an opportunity to catch up and perhaps jump ahead with a new type of battery that promises to be more powerful, cheaper, safer and faster to charge than the lithium-ion batteries used today.

Solid-state batteries, which replace the corrosive liquid found in conventional batteries with solid metal, are widely seen as the next step for EVs, and leading automakers are racing to develop versions that can be mass-produced. Rivals such as Volkswagen and Toyota have also announced efforts to produce solid-state EVs, with Toyota setting a 2027-28 date to start bringing them to market.

But major challenges remain before the technology reaches commercial mass production.

The sprawling facility displayed by Nissan on Tuesday is still mostly empty, but company officials said it is scheduled to begin operating a pilot production line by March 2025, with commercial production of EVs there to begin in fiscal year 2028, running from April 2028 to March 2029.

“When electric vehicles operate, costs will decrease compared to internal combustion engines. They will also be so easy. For one, you don’t have to go to the gas station,” Executive Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto told reporters on a tour of the sprawling facility in southwest Tokyo.

“The engineers at Nissan are all working hard to create this new world,” said Sakamoto.

Nissan officials offered few details on many aspects of the technology, as well as total investment and global production plans.

They said the company had developed a unique key material for the battery, including a form of lithium metal.

Nissan is an EV pioneer, introducing the all-electric Leaf in 2010. The company says it plans to offer solid-state batteries in a variety of models, including pickup trucks.

“We are finally in the phase of ramping up our solid-state battery line,” said Shunichi Inamijima, corporate vice president.

“Our solid-state battery technology is a game changer to make EV sales grow exponentially.”

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