Nissan Motor Co. is working with the principle that if you want to control the cost then you should be involved. Hence, Nissan is currently developing a next-generation battery that will be lighter and less expensive. At the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that it will take a few years before it will be able to use the new electric-vehicle battery.
Compared to the lithium ion battery that will power the five-passenger Nissan Leaf, which debuts in late 2010, the upcoming battery will be smaller, lighter and less expensive.
The battery for the Leaf, Nissan's first electric family car, delivers about 100 miles on a complete charge. Nissan won't be hoarding this technology and will eventually outsource batteries for its electric-vehicle program to independent suppliers.
But for now, Ghosn said that Nissan prefers to control battery development internally to control cost and production.
Earlier this year, Nissan signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to work jointly on future battery development.
An Oak Ridge official had said that the federal lab is optimistic that it can develop a battery that can deliver 400 miles on a single charge. Ghosn said Nissan's batteries will be "an important profit center" in the future.