Nissan Motor Co. plans to tap Chinese battery maker Sunwoda Electric Vehicle Battery Co. to jointly develop and produce batteries for hybrid vehicles.
The Japanese automaker “will begin studying joint development of next-generation vehicle batteries” for its e-Power vehicles to be sold in and outside China, Nissan said last week.
“The two companies will also discuss the development of an efficient production system to ensure stable supply capacity for jointly developed batteries,” it added.
Nissan expects to reach a final agreement with Sunwoda on the deal before the end of this year.
Nissan’s e-Power hybrids use an electric motor to directly drive the wheels and a gasoline engine to generate electricity for the motor.
The automaker plans to sell more than 1 million all-electric cars and e-Power models annually by 2023.
Nissan produces only one electrified model in China – the battery-powered Nissan Sylphy compact sedan, which is built at Nissan’s joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group.
Under a sustainable development strategy disclosed for China last September, the automaker planned to introduce e-Power vehicles and more EVs in the market from 2020 to 2022. But it hasn’t disclosed additional details.
Nissan brand sales, even after rebounding three consecutive months in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, have dropped 22 percent to below 460,000 vehicles through May.
Deliveries at Nissan’s Infiniti luxury brand slipped again in May, with year-to-date volume shrinking 42 percent to 6,233.
Sunwoda, in the south China city of Shenzhen, supplies battery systems and modules as well as battery management systems for EVs and hybrid vehicles in China.