On April 17, at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "AESC", also known as "Nissan Battery"), which was acquired by China Vision Group, was first renamed as "Vision AESC". A new generation of Gen5-811 AIoT power battery has been released. In the future, in addition to the AESC main base in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, a new base in Wuxi, China will also start production of ternary lithium batteries, with a total production capacity of 20GWh.
The vision group announced earlier this month that it has completed the acquisition of AESC and acquired the entire share capital of NEC Electrode Manufacturing (NEC Electrode), a former battery manufacturer that is a supplier of Nissan batteries.
In terms of investment composition, Vision AESC is led by the Vision Group's battery industry fund. The fund's investors include Sequoia Capital and Keppel Group. In addition to the power battery, the vision group also includes the wind turbine manufacturer Vision Energy and other business segments.
The Nissan battery was jointly established by Nissan Motor and Nidec in 2007, and the shareholding ratio of the two parties was 51:49. Lithium batteries produced by Nissan Battery have been used in batches for Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicles since 2010. Up to now, it has provided power batteries for 430,000 wind-powered electric vehicles, and has battery production bases in Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom, with a total capacity of 7.5GWh.
However, in the past few years, Nissan's battery shipments have not dominated the global power battery competition. Since Nissan Motor has a controlling stake in the company, it is difficult to supply lithium batteries to other auto companies. Nissan also has a plan to spin off the business and expand its shipments.
In 2018, Nissan's battery sales were less than 4.5 GWh. After the acquisition of Nissan Battery by Vision Group, it is intended to re-enter the first echelon of the global power battery company.
In August 2018, Vision Group announced the acquisition plan, but the parties did not disclose the specific amount involved in the acquisition. According to the plan announced at the time, Nissan will still hold a 20% stake in Nissan Battery and NEC Electrode, and Vision Group will exercise absolute business control.
“AESC has achieved 50% power growth on the 2018 Nissan Leaf.” Matsumoto Masahiro, CEO of Nissan Power Battery (China) Co., Ltd., became CEO of Vision AESC on April 17th According to the reporter, there are currently 430,000 electric vehicles installed in the world, including AESC batteries produced in Japan, the United States and Europe. AESC has not experienced any major failures such as battery fires.
Visionary AESC Executive Director and China Business Leader Zhao Weijun revealed to the First Financial Reporter that the newly built power battery factory of Vision Group in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province is scheduled to be put into production in the middle of next year. The investment amount of the project will reach 5 billion yuan. At present, the production and R&D base of the AESC, which is part of the Vision, has been started. In the future, a ternary lithium battery production line model NCM811 will be laid. The capacity of the first-phase ternary lithium battery will be 3GWh, and the subsequent 1.5GWh capacity will be reached soon. The total planned long-term project capacity is 20GWh.
Matsumoto said that while ensuring the safety of lithium battery products, the company will focus on reducing production costs and making products more competitive in the future. Since the end of last year, the Group has initiated the investigation and screening of the Nissan battery supply chain in China to prepare for its local production. Zhang Lei, CEO of Vision Group, told First Financial reporter that by 2025, the cost of mainstream power batteries such as Vision AESC is expected to drop to 50 US dollars per kWh, which is about a quarter of the current price level.