Nissan’s lithium-ion battery packs have stacked modules made from layers of laminated material. Cooling air circulates between them, eliminating the need for water cooling. Prototype packs have been tested to 62,000 miles.
Nissan's 2010 electric vehicle isn't a two-seat city vehicle, but rather a 4-5 passenger sedan powered by a laminated lithium-ion battery pack. "We aren't buying this technology," says Mark Perry, director, Product Planning and Advanced Technology Strategy, Nissan North America, Inc., "and we are ready to share it with other automakers." Each laminate layer is about the size of a laptop computer, and modules are created by stacking laminates on top of one another while leaving room for cooling air to circulate between them. Battery packs are formed by stacking modules together. The batteries are built at Nissan's Zama plant in Japan by AESC-Automotive Energy and Supply Corp., a joint venture between Nissan and NEC Corp.-which has a capacity of 65,000 units. The battery packs will be leased so consumers always have the latest battery technology available, and should last seven years before they degrade to 80% of capacity.
Aware that "range anxiety" is a major stumbling block to EV ownership, the sedan will have a 100-mile range on a full charge, and can be charged via a 110-volt (Level 1), 220-volt (Level 2) or 440/480-volt (Level 3) outlet. The first takes overnight, the second approximately four hours, and the third can go from zero charge to 80% in just 26 minutes. According to Kristen Helsel, director, EV Chargers, Efficient Energy Systems, AeroVironment, Inc. (Monrovia, CA; www.avinc.com), the Level 3 charger "sends direct current straight to the battery over a conductive circuit and is monitored internally for safety." Both expect retailers, dealers, and rest stops to adopt quick-charge stations initially, with a roll-out across the country following quickly as EV sales rise.