Nissan and NASA team up on 15-minute EV charging
Nissan has joined other big-name automakers in outlining a vision around next-generation battery technology, which includes plans for a dedicated production facility and possible 15-minute charging times for electric vehicles. The company sees cheaper solid-state batteries as a key pillar in this strategy, and has reportedly teamed up with NASA to help make them a reality.
Solid-state batteries are a promising alternative to lithium-ion due to their superior energy density, lower costs and potentially far shorter charging times. Nissan imagines using them in everything from family sedans to pickups, and isn't alone in trying to unlock their potential. VW is working with startup QuantumScape on its own version, while Toyota teamed up with Panasonic to pursue similar aims in 2020. Last year, Ford opened a US$185-million research hub to develop and manufacture solid-state batteries to use in its vehicle lineup.
Nissan's prototype production facility for solid-state batteries will be housed at its research center in Kanagawa, just south of Tokyo. Here, the company's engineers and researchers will work to get a production line up and running by 2024, with plans to launch an EV featuring a solid-state battery in 2028. At this point, Nissan believes its solid-sate batteries will cost $75 per kWh, but beyond 2028 this should drop to around $65 per kWh. This should make for EVs that cost around the same as gasoline-powered vehicles, according to the company.
"The knowledge gained from our experience supports the development of all-solid-state batteries and we've accumulated important elemental technologies," said Kunio Nakaguro, executive vice president in charge of R&D at Nissan. "Going forward, our R&D and manufacturing divisions will continue to work together to utilize this prototype production facility and accelerate the practical application of all-solid-state batteries."
Alongside this dedicated facility, Nissan is also reportedly joining forces with NASA on the solid-state battery architecture. According to a report in the Associated Press, the pair will collaborate with researchers at the University of California, San Diego to develop a battery around half the size of a current-day EV battery, with an ability to fully charge in just 15 minutes.
“Both NASA and Nissan need the same kind of battery,” said Nissan Corporate Vice President Kazuhiro Doi.