Nissan working on cheaper battery, will sell to suppliers

As Nissan gears up to launch the Leaf electric-car in the U.S. next year, the Japanese automaker is developing a next-generation battery that will be lighter and less expensive. Speaking to the press at the Foreign Correspondents” Club of Japan on the eve of the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, CEO Carlos Ghosn said Nissan could eventually outsource batteries for its electric-vehicle program to suppliers.

He said that Nissan is first looking to control battery development internally to control cost and production, reports Automotive News.

“If you want to be in control of the cost, you”d better be involved,” Ghosn said. “We want to make sure we can drive the battery where we want to go.”

Ghosn said that the improved batteries will be “an important profit center” in the future. He said Nissan is “ready to sell the battery to whoever is interested.”

Nissan is developing a new plant in Smryna, Tennessee that will be capable of producing 200,000 batteries annually. Nissan said that investments to produce batteries at the plant could exceed $1 billion.

– By: Omar Rana