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Nissan Inks Battery Research Deal with Enerdel

The company is betting heavily on electric cars after rejecting hybrid technology.

by on Jul.31, 2009

Tiida EV

The production-intent Nissan EV will make its official debut next week.

Nissan Motor Company has signed a contract with EnerDel and its parent company Ener1, an Indiana company that has been working on advanced lithium-ion automotive batteries.

The research is targeted specifically at developing a new generation of electrical conductive material intended to reduce cost and improve the performance of electric and hybrid vehicle batteries. The company is betting heavily on electric cars after rejecting hybrid technology.

“This project is about continuing the evolution of a critical technology,” said Charles Gassenheimer, CEO and Chairman of EnerDel, parent company Ener1, Inc.

“Nissan is one of the leading companies driving the electric vehicle market today. Over 12 months of discussions on this effort, our management and technical teams have had a tremendous opportunity to get know one another. We are looking forward to successful realization of this project’s important goals.”

EnerDel recently cut the ribbon at one of the most advanced battery production lines for large format cells at its Indianapolis plant. The facility is currently the only high volume manufacturing facility for automotive lithium-ion batteries in the U.S.

Several other companies are also moving forward with plants for building lithium-ion batteries in the U.S., even though tests of the emerging technology remain incomplete. However, tests by GM, Ford and their battery suppliers such as Saft and A123 have bolstered the case for using lithium-ion batteries in both hybrids and pure electric vehicles.