Nissan licenses li-ion battery tech to APB Corporation to allow for low-cost mass-production

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 16 Apr 2020


Japanese-carmaker Nissan has licensed its advanced technology to APB Corporation that will allow mass production of lower-cost, safer lithium-ion batteries with increased charging capacity.

Tokyo-based APB is backed by investment from major companies and plans to build a factory in Japan that will use Nissan’s technology to make all-polymer batteries for storage use.

Nissan says all-polymer batteries are said to be the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. The carmakers tech, known as bipolar structure all-polymer battery technology, will help consumers and communities to more effectively use low-cost or renewable energy at a lower initial cost.

Hideki Kimata, vice-president, corporate strategy and business development division, Nissan said: “We believe the widespread adoption of this technology will contribute to fulfilling the United Nation’s sustainable development goals and help realise a sustainable, low-carbon society.”

The OEM says it began researching and developing lithium-ion batteries in the early 1990s. And in 1997, it launched the Prairie Joy EV and became a leading player in installing lithium-ion batteries in commercial electric cars. Since then, Nissan says it has continued to research core technologies and pursue innovation in the field of EV batteries.

What is bipolar structure all-polymer battery technology?

Nissan says in an all-polymer battery with a bipolar structure, the liquid electrolyte and metal electrodes used in conventional batteries are replaced with polymers. The front and back of the battery cell are made of a polymer current collector. The front and back each have a negative or positive polarity and forms part of the battery case. By stacking a number of these cells together, an assembled battery with a bipolar structure is created.

This technology is said to increase charging capacity relative to battery volume, while also enhancing safety by replacing liquid electrolytes with polymers. The simplified structure also lowers cost.

Nissan says the mainstream use of stationary batteries with this technology will help individual customers make effective use of low-cost electricity, such as renewable energy from solar panels or electricity purchased from the grid during off-peak hours, with a smaller initial investment.

As a result, local communities can limit electricity use during peak hours and use power in a more stable and efficient manner. This reduces the risk of blackouts due to disasters or technical failures, and can contribute to a safer, cleaner energy supply.