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JV to make make Nissan's electric car more affordable

Nissan Motor Company and Sumitomo Corporation are forming a joint venture that could make Nissan's electric vehicles (EVs) more affordable.

They plan to recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles.

The venture will enable the carmaker to lower the prices of its zero-emission vehicles by taking into account the resale value of their batteries, Nissan chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga said.

"This is a scheme that will make it easier for customers to use electric cars," said Shiga, whose company will launch its Leaf electric car in the US, Japan and Europe next year.

By reselling the batteries, Nissan and Sumitomo may solve one of electric car manufacturers' biggest problems which is affordability.

The recycled batteries will be used to store energy received via photovoltaic solar panels on residential and industrial devices, for instance, or to store back-up power, Shiga said.

In Japan, demand for such recycled batteries is expected to reach the equivalent of at least 50,000 electric cars a year by 2020, Nissan and Sumitomo said.

The lithium-ion batteries Nissan uses retain 70% to 80% of their residual capacity, even after their average lifetime of 10 years in an electric car, said Hideaki Watanabe, general manager of Nissan's global zero emission business unit.


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