TOKYO, Japan --- Nissan Motor Co. and NEC Corp. have established a joint-venture, dubbed Automotive Energy Supply Corp. (AESC), to focus on lithium-ion battery development for wide-scale automotive application by 2009. Nissan and NEC Group will invest about $4.1 million in the partnership. The new company will focus on the development and marketing of advanced lithium-ion batteries, designed to power future generations of electric-powered vehicles. After one year, the partnership will be expanded to include mass production and sales. Nissan said its partnership with NEC represents a key component of the company's "Nissan Green Program 2010" mid-term environmental action plan, as announced in December, 2006. "Nissan will introduce our own original hybrid vehicle by 2010, followed by our next-generation electric vehicle in the early part of the next decade," said Carlos Tavares, executive vice president of Nissan. "Together, Nissan and NEC's engineers have addressed the key challenges of cost, performance, safety and reliability. We believe that we have a breakthrough technology in the lithium-ion battery product we will produce. Through AESC, this battery will be made available to all automakers, and we expect this could further accelerate the development of future generations of eco-friendly vehicles."

Originally posted on Fleet Financials