Nissan & Sumitomo Establish Joint Research Company

September 19, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Corp. announced that a new joint-venture company was established on September 14th. The company will conduct research on the second-life use of lithium-ion batteries that have been used previously in electric cars.

Naming a second-life business for recyclable advanced lithium-ion batteries as the "4R Energy" business in October 2009, both companies started a joint study to "Reuse, Resell, Refabricate and Recycle" the lithium ion batteries used in electric cars.

Nissan will launch Nissan LEAF, the company’s first affordable, mass-marketed, 100% electric car, in December 2010 in Japan and the United States, followed by the global release in 2012. Meanwhile, in April 2010, Sumitomo launched a new division, the New Business Development & Promotion Division, which is responsible for environmental businesses and is working on developing new approaches to realizing a low-carbon, recycling-based society.

While the EV market is expanding, the new joint-venture company will work towards developing the second-life battery business. This will meet management goals for the battery’s entire value chain and energy-storage solutions. As part of this new business development, the company will conduct demonstration tests and undertake a commercialization study.