Nissan is working with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on a new type of battery for electric vehicles that promise to charge quicker and be lighter yet safe, the Japanese automaker said on April 8.
The all-solid-state battery will replace the lithium-ion battery now in use for a 2028 product launch and a pilot plant launch in 2024, according to Nissan.
The all-solid-state battery is stable enough to be used in pacemakers. When finished, it will be about half the size of the current battery and fully charge in 15 minutes, instead of a few hours.
The collaboration with the U.S. space program, as well as the University of California San Diego, involves the testing of various materials, Corporate Vice President Kazuhiro Doi told reporters.
“Both NASA and Nissan need the same kind of battery,” he said.
The goal is to avoid the use of expensive materials like rare metals, which are needed for lithium-ion batteries.
Nissan is also counting on its historical experience with the Leaf electric car, which first hit the market in 2010 and has sold more than half a million units globally, although the battery technology is different.
Other automakers, including Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp.,as well as Volkswagen of Germany and U.S. automakers Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., are working on all-solid-state batteries.
Recently, General Motors and Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. said they were working together on next-generation electric vehicles.
But Nissan Executive Vice President Kunio Nakaguro said Nissan is extremely competitive and that the battery it is developing promises to be “a game-changer.”