The Nikkei reports that Nissan Motor Co. and NEC Corp. will invest ¥100 billion (US$1.1 billion) or more in their joint venture Automotive Energy Supply Corp. (AESC, earlier post) to boost manufacturing capacity of lithium-ion batteries to supply a total of around 200,000 electric and hybrid vehicles per year by 2011 or later.
Initial annual battery output from the AESC plant in Kanagawa Prefecture is set to supply packs for approximately 13,000 vehicles.
The plant was to expand its output capacity to 65,000 vehicles by 2011, but the parents have decided to bring this forward to 2010. In addition, they now intend to build an additional factory in Japan in 2011 or later.
Furthermore, the two firms are considering setting up factories in the US and Europe to supply local automakers. These foreign factories may tap low-interest loans offered by their respective governments for the production of environmentally friendly vehicles.