By the way of announcing its Ambition 2030 long-term strategy and a few new concepts, Nissan has revealed that it's also making progress on the lithium-ion battery technology front.
The company says that it will introduce a cobalt-free technology (without revealing the exact type) to bring down the cost by 65% by fiscal year 2028 (by the end of March 2029).
Not only that, Nissan says that by fiscal year 2028, it will launch an electric vehicle with "its proprietary all-solid-state batteries (ASSB)" and the ASSB pilot plant in Yokohama is expected to be ready as early as fiscal year 2024.
The word "proprietary" and the location of the pilot plant clearly indicate that Nissan has some in-house technology. Let's recall that the company has been engaged in lithium-ion batteries for at least two decades, and together with NEC, has produced its own batteries through the AESC joint venture, later sold to a Chinese partner (currently Envision AESC).
We are not entirely sure whether the solid-state batteries will be Nissan's cobalt-free technology or it will be a separate solution to a more conventional cobalt-free chemistry like LFP.
According to the press release, the ASSB will be crucial for the expansion of the EV lineup:
"Nissan aims to launch EV with its proprietary all-solid-state batteries (ASSB) by fiscal year 2028 and ready a pilot plant in Yokohama as early as fiscal year 2024. With the introduction of breakthrough ASSB, Nissan will be able to expand its EV offerings across segments and offer more dynamic performance."
$75/kWh by fiscal year 2028 on the pack level
Nissan says that the ASSB will reduce charging time to a third of its current value, double the energy density as well as make EVs more efficient and - probably the most important - more affordable.
The targets are really impressive, as Nissan says that the battery pack cost should go down to $75 per kWh by fiscal year 2028. That would be $7,500 per 100 kWh pack or $3,750 per 50 kWh.
Moreover, there is a potential to further decrease the cost to $65/kWh at the pack level and achieve cost parity between EV and gasoline vehicles according to Nissan. Without a higher upfront cost and with lower energy costs, BEVs would be basically unbeatable.
"By reducing charging time to one-third, ASSBs will make EVs more efficient and accessible. Further, Nissan expects ASSB to bring the cost of battery packs down to $75 per kWh by fiscal year 2028 and aims to bring it further down to $65 per kWh to achieve cost parity between EV and gasoline vehicles in the future."
Global battery supply: 130 GWh by fiscal year 2030
Nissan says that it will establish a global battery supply system - together with its partners, which obviously will include Envision AESC (and potentially some other companies) - to increase production capacity to 52 GWh by by fiscal year 2026, and 130 GWh by fiscal year 2030.
52 GWh would be equivalent to 650,000-867,000 BEVs with 60-80 kWh battery packs, while 130 GWh would be equivalent to 1.6-2.2 million EVs with 60-80 kWh battery packs.
"Nissan seeks to establish a global battery supply system to meet growing customer vehicle demand and support the growing number of EVs in use. Working with its partners, Nissan intends to increase its global battery production capacity to 52 GWh by fiscal year 2026, and 130 GWh by fiscal year 2030."
More EV Hubs
Nissan announced that in the future, electrified vehicles and batteries will be produced at the same sites, through the implementation of the EV Hub concept globally. The first EV36Zero EV hub was already announced by Nissan and Envision AESC in Sunderland, UK in July 2021.
In the future, similar hubs will be built in Japan, China and in the U.S.
"In addition to technology upgrade, Nissan will localize manufacturing and sourcing to make EVs more competitive. Nissan will expand its unique EV Hub concept, EV36Zero, which was launched in the UK to core markets including Japan, China and the U.S. EV36Zero is a fully integrated manufacturing and service ecosystem connecting mobility and energy management with the aim of realizing carbon neutrality."
The company intends also to scale-up its battery repurpose and recycling arm, using 4R Energy subsidiary with a decade of experience as a foundation:
"Ensuring vehicle batteries remain sustainable will also continue to be a priority for Nissan based on its decade of repurposing and recycling expertise with 4R Energy. The company intends to expand its battery refurbishing facilities beyond Japan with new locations in Europe during fiscal year 2022, and in the U.S. in fiscal year 2025.
Nissan’s refurbishing infrastructure will support a circular economy in energy management, and the company aims to fully commercialize its vehicle-to-everything and home battery systems in the mid-2020s. In addition, the company will invest up to 20 billion yen by 2026 towards charging infrastructure."
Nissan battery technology targets in brief:
- Nissan intends to introduce cobalt-free lithium-ion batteries to bring down the cost by 65% by fiscal year 2028 (by the end of March 2029)
- Nissan intends to launch electric vehicle with "its proprietary all-solid-state batteries (ASSB)" by fiscal year 2028 (by the end of March 2029)
a pilot plant in Yokohama should be ready as early as fiscal year 2024
- all-solid-state batteries (ASSB) target cost:
$75 per kWh on the pack level by fiscal year 2028
potential to achieve $65/kWh on the pack level
- global battery supply targets:
52 GWh by by fiscal year 2026 (by the end of March 2027)
130 GWh by fiscal year 2030 (by the end of March 2031)
- EV36Zero (EV hub concept) fully integrated manufacturing to spread globally: Europe (UK), Japan, China and in the U.S.