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Zama Sets Standard for Nissan’s Battery Production Expansion


Zama, Kanagawa – The Zama lithium-ion plant has churned out more than 11 million battery cells, roughly half the global auto industry’s total production.

At Zama, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation – a Nissan-NEC joint-venture since 2007 – combines four cells into each battery module, after which Nissan’s Oppama facility assembles 48 into each battery pack.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn visited Zama and said quality and efficiency have been a signpost for global factory expansion.

“Zama is a very important place for our battery strategy because it’s a mother plant, and it’s a place where not only do we fine tune the process, we enhance the process, we train the people, we prepare the equipment, but we also try to imagine the process of tomorrow,” said Ghosn. “So, it’s not only a production facility, it is also a facility where we are trying all the improvements we can make, in order to make the battery much more efficient.”

Meeting Zama employees, Ghosn stressed the importance of the battery business in expanding the EVs market, including the Nissan LEAF, which has sold more than 27,000 vehicles.

Nissan’s UK Sunderland plant began manufacture of batteries in February and will start LEAF production next year, complementing near-term production at the Smyrna, Tenn., plant.

Ghosn’s expectations for battery development and usage go beyond the measure of production today.

“I think that by developing the different utilization of the battery after its use in the car, we are just making the battery much more cost effective for the owner of the car,” said Ghosn.

Exhibits at the plant display alternative power supply, including secondary usage of batteries, such as “LEAF-to-Home” two-way charging.

Zama’s soon-to-be announced technologies push the envelope even further on battery development, as Nissan literally charges ahead with zero-emission mobility.



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