Nissan agrees to sell electric vehicle battery business to China's Envision Group
Nissan Motor Co. has agreed to sell its electric car battery unit to Chinese renewable company, Envision Group, for an undisclosed sum.
Through the agreement, Envision will acquire a controlling stake in Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) — the electric battery operations and production facilities of Nissan Motor Co. — for an undisclosed sum.
The Japanese carmaker said the deal will allow it to focus on growing its electric vehicle business.
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Nissan said it will retain a 25% share in AESCO, which owns and operates plants in Japan, UK and the US.
By 2020, the firm aims to sell one million electric and hybrid vehicles as part of the Nissan M.O.V.E strategy.
“We are pleased to have secured a definitive agreement with Envision, a leading global company in the field of sustainable energy," said Yasuhiro Yamauchi, Nissan's chief competitive officer.
"The transaction will enable Nissan to concentrate on developing and producing market-leading electric vehicles - in line with the goals set in our midterm plan Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022.
“We are confident that Envision will be a strong, long-term owner of the new company and that it will further grow as a battery company with increased competitiveness."
As part of the deal, Envision said it plans to upgrade AESC's facilities and open a new site in Wuxi, China, to serve the fast-growing Chinese market for electric vehicle batteries.
Envision has connected over 50mn smart devices used for wind, solar, energy storage, charging networks, electric vehicles, and home energy management.
Lei Zhang, Envision’s Founder and CEO, added that Envision’ could use Internet of Things (IoT) technology to make the unit’s batteries and charging processes “more intelligent.”
He said: “As a company inspired by technological innovation, we are delighted to work with Nissan and the AESC team to drive further evolution of this technology and the battery sector."
Today, AESC’s lithium-ion batteries are currently used in the company's ‘Leaf’ electric vehicles.