Nissan Finalizing $1 Billion Deal To Sell Stake In Battery Business

Nissan is in the process of finalizing the sale of its 51-percent stake in lithium-ion battery manufacturer Automotive Energy Supply Corp. (AESC).

The majority stake is to be sold to Chinese private equity firm GSR Capital, which is backed by the government of China’s Hubei province. The two companies are expected to make in announcement in regards to the deal within the next two weeks.

AESC provides the lithium-ion batteries used in the Nissan Leaf, along with many other vehicles outside of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. With more manufacturers beginning to offer electric vehicles, GSR Capital recognizes the value of a company that specializes in providing lithium ion battery cells to OEMs.

SEE ALSO: Nissan Leaf Spy Shots Show Similarities to IDS Concept

Nissan was interested in exiting the battery manufacturing business as it sees the shelf life of lithium ion technology as limited. It’s therefore elected to abandon the production of lithium ion cells in favor of exploring next-generation technologies.

While AESC provided the battery cells for the current Leaf, the next-generation car may be set to receive batteries from LG Chem. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn proclaimed last year the Korean-based company makes the best lithium ion cells and its batteries were also used in the IDS Concept – which is considered to preview the next-generation Leaf. We’ll find out for sure shortly, with the Leaf expected to be shown this September before deliveries commence by year’s end.

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