Back in 2007, Nissan and NEC, a Japenese tech giant, created a battery manufacturing company, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), in order to eventually supply the automaker’s electric vehicle programs. Both companies have since each invested hundreds of millions in the venture, which started producing the battery cells for the Nissan Leaf in 2010.
At some point in 2014, it became one of the largest electric vehicle battery manufacturers, second only to Panasonic, Tesla’s battery cell supplier. The joint-venture has since lost market shares and Nissan has been quite opened about looking to partner with someone else for future EV programs, like it’s new 60 kWh battery pack.
Now we learn that the automaker is looking to sell its shares in AESC and Panasonic could be a buyer.
The news comes from Nikkei (via Reuters):
“Nissan Motor Co is planning to sell its controlling stake in its car battery manufacturing operations, and is discussing a possible sale with Panasonic Corp and other overseas companies including Chinese ones, the Nikkei daily reported on Friday.
The Japanese automaker was planning to unload its stake in Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, a joint venture with NEC Corp, after determining that procuring batteries for its electric vehicles including its Leaf model would be more cost efficient than producing them in house, the newspaper reported.”
Nissan has been rumored to be working with LG Chem for its next generation battery pack. Last year, CEO Carlos Ghosn was even on record saying that he believes they have the best battery cell option for electric vehicles right now.
Navigant research agrees with Ghosn. Last year, they placed LG Chem first on their leaderboard report for li-ion batteries for transportation.