Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault and Nissan, seems decided to drop the battery production and focus the resources in other electric car’s technologies such as electric motors and autonomous driving.
Nissan is trying to sell its 51 % stake in AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation) that currently supplies the battery for the Nissan Leaf. The company is jointly owned by NEC that has the other 49 %.
The possible buyers are plenty, LG Chem, Panasonic, Samsung SDI or even NEC could buy the other 51 % to completely own the company. A Chinese company can also try to take the opportunity to become a world-leader in battery production.
For a long time AESC was only behind Panasonic in battery production, but was recently surpassed by BYD. This could be the opportunity for BYD go head to head with Panasonic, or Panasonic can try the world domination…
Maybe in a few years, when there’s a clear winner in battery technology Nissan can start producing the batteries again, now it seems a good choice to see the technological battles from outside and focus in other parts of the electric car.
As a big Alliance Renault-Nissan have the power to negotiate better prices if they get the batteries for the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe from the same supplier. LG Chem seems to be better positioned since it already supplies the batteries for Zoe, but a better alternative can appear.
If I had to guess I would say LG Chem will provide 40 kWh (usable capacity) batteries to both Alliance’s electric cars. The facelifted Nissan Leaf and the upcoming Renault Zoe R400. Carlos Ghosn already said publicly he thinks that currently LG Chem is the best battery maker.