Nissan Battery cell

Nissan Battery cell

Nissan recently launched a new newsletter in Japan - the EVolution 2016 (which is also translated into English thankfully).

The first monthly report centers on lithium-ion batteries, of which Nissan says it has been working on since 1992.

Nissan's Norihiko Hirata answered few questions, saying that 600 km range is no fantasy for Nissan's next/upcoming EVs (but at the same time rating was made for JC08, which means 300-400 km real world equals 200-250 miles EPA).

"Q: What gives Nissan's EV batteries such an edge in today's competitive market?

In 1992 Nissan got a head start by embarking on lithium-ion battery development.

We anticipated that lithium-ion batteries, due to their high-energy density, would work best for powering automobiles. Our research led us to develop an original laminated-type cell structure, which has several advantages. It is relatively inexpensive, has a simple structure with fewer working parts, is lightweight and thin, and can be easily designed to fit the shape of the car. Battery development takes a lot of time, requiring experimentation and testing. Since we were ahead of the game in lithium-ion battery development, we have accumulated more data, and that's why we were first to market with a 30 kWh battery.

200,000 EVs sold worldwide. Zero accidents due to battery problems.

Because EV batteries compactly store a huge amount of energy, safeguards in case of accident are critical. At Nissan we divide EV safety into three categories - mechanical, electrical and thermal - and we examine all kinds of driving situations and the type of accidents that could occur in each. We undertake R&D to ensure safety in each category. For example, we conduct stringent tests to learn how well a battery withstands shock from a collision, what it takes to keep a battery from overheating, and if heat is generated whether our safeguards will prevent the battery from igniting. As the result of ongoing R&D based on accumulated test data, we can proudly say that after five years and more than 200,000 units sold worldwide, Nissan LEAF has never had an accident due to a battery problem."

Nissan Module battery crush test

Nissan Module battery crush test

Nissan Battery pack drop test

Nissan Battery pack drop test

Nissan LEAF Internal structure image

Nissan LEAF Internal structure image

"Q: Please explain some of the advances provided by this new 30 kWh battery .

Big increase in driving range to 280 km* on one charge.

With 25% more storage capacity than our previous largest 24 kWh, this new battery extends driving range on a full charge to around 280 km (174 miles).Yet despite the higher capacity, it only takes about 30 minutes to rapid-charge the battery to 80% capacity. That would give you about 200 km (124 miles)of driving distance. This higher capacity greatly expands the range of activities drivers can plan for. *JC08 mode

Guaranteed 160,000 km over 8 years.*

EV batteries face heavy load demands due to the huge amount of energy they transfer when used and recharged. This is why technology must continually advance for optimal performance and safety. In developing our new 30 kWh battery, we reevaluated the materials used inside the cell to improve durability. As a result, we were able to extend our guarantee from 100,000 km (62,137 miles) over five years to 160,000 km (99,419 miles) over eight years. *The gurarantee varies depending on the country

More electricity storage capacity makes a significant home power supply

Batteries designed to power automobiles have the capacity and durability to serve as power supplies for homes, too. The increase in storage capacity to 30 kWh makes significantly more electricity available.

Q: In the five years since LEAF was launched, battery capacity has risen to 30 kWh. What developments might we expect to see in the near future?

600 km* range on 1 charge is no fantasy.

We know of many materials that have the potential to advance lithium-ion battery performance. Nissan is conducting R&D on materials that we think will increase capacity and reduce internal resistance, which will shorten charging time. Our goal is to achieve driving range of 600 km* on one rapid charge - performance that exceeds the range of a typical compact car on one tank of fuel. This is a point where EV performance may trigger a dramatic transformation in the role of cars in society. It has taken Nissan just five years to bring a 30 kWh battery to market. This fact, I think, suggests that EV evolution will occur much faster than many people expect. *JC08 mode

Optimal power output equivalent to 280 horsepower

30 kWh is the unit of electrical energy the battery stores. It's peak power output is 200 kW, or approximately 280 horsepower. This puts Nissan LEAF in the same category as elite sports cars. Although energy efficiency is a key appeal of EVs, drivers also care about power output - for instance, the car's acceleration from 0 – 100km/h (60 mph). Instantaneous power output is hindered by internal battery resistance, which we are working to resolve. Technologies we develop to resolve this issue

may end up being applied not only to EVs but also to hybrids, plug-in hybrids and others."

Well, the 200 kW power rating from the 30 kWh battery sounds like nearly 6.7C discharge, which is great, but car is driven by electric motor and peak output in case of LEAF stands at 80 kW so we feel that the comparison to sports cars is misleading (at least until LEAF will not receive a 200 kW motor).