Popular Japanese carmaker Nissan has teamed up with NASA to develop a new type of battery for electric vehicles. This EV battery is expected to change the game entirely for the EV industry.
The all-solid-state battery currently in the works is seen as a potential replacement for the lithium-ion (LiOn) batteries currently in use. These will charge faster, weigh much lighter, and are much safer for general use. Indeed, the team behind the project claims that it is safe and stable enough for powering medical pacemakers.
This collaborative effort between Nissan, NASA, and the University of California – San Diego will involve testing various materials using what is referred to as an original material informatics platform. This digital database will be testing combinations of different materials to see which works best in an eco-friendly rechargeable battery while decreasing the need for rare metals, as in the case of LiOn batteries.
It’s a revolutionary move that may lower the price of rechargeable EV batteries in the long run while providing a more reliable power source for next-generation vehicles both on land and in space.
A calculated move
Historically, Nissan has a great deal of experience in EV technology. For example, it introduced the Leaf electric car back in 2010, selling over 500,000 units of the compact EV worldwide. Admittedly, the battery technology powering the Leaf is different, butthe company sees it as a step in the right direction.
And it’s a timely decision on Nissan’s part. Rivals Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Company and even western automakers like Ford Motor Co. and Germany’s Volkswagen are working round the clock to secure their own share of the EV battery sector through the development of all-solid-state batteries.
Most recently, US carmaker General Motors teamed up with Honda to develop a new range of next-generation electric vehicles.
But industry watchers say that Nissan’s current initiative also aims to absolve the company from the scandal involving former executive Carlos Ghosn who, ironically enough, was the one who spearheaded its push towards greener, more energy-efficient vehicles. Ghosn took the company in this direction following the rise of EV companies like Tesla and Waymo.
Ghosn, however, was arrested on several charges of financial misconduct back in 2018. He jumped bail a year later, relocating to his ancestral home in Lebanon, which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Japan. To this day, Ghosn maintains his innocence.