Opinion: Nissan’s battery plant is the future – but for how long? Car News

Nissan’s next electric vehicle battery plant in Sunderland to open with 9 GWh capacity and has the potential to expand to 35 GWh. That’s enough to eventually power more than 500,000 electric vehicles a year, but that’s just the tip of a gigaberg.

It sounds impressive, but it also illustrates the huge punt the auto industry is taking on a technological path steeped in so many intangibles. Is it to support a death certificate or an alien? Does anyone really know how things are going to evolve in an industry which, until the arrival of the BEV, had 150 years to evolve?

Battery “giga-factories” quickly become the thing, initiated by Tesla, which is also building them in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. There are more either in the works or planned from Samsung SDI, SK Innovation, LG Chem, Northvolt, CATL, Verkor, Britishvolt and others, in many cases backed by automakers.

The exponential growth in battery production is staggering. So is the massive commitment to BEVs as the industry has said for years that there will be no quick fixes to alternative forms of propulsion. Both ask questions.

One is the rate of change of a technology that is still in its infancy. While most cars are bought using finance anyway, he’s a brave person investing money in a new EV now. I bought my first earlier this year, the benchmark Kia e-Niro, but I think it will likely be on the verge of obsolescence by the end of my contract.

The same must surely apply to gigafactories. If they’re designed to produce “old tech” lithium-ion batteries today, how will they make the transition when the solid state or something we don’t yet know is ready for production? If it’s the latter, what does retooling these massive factories involve, and how much will it cost?

On the subject of the quick fix, does the global love affair with the battery hijack other potential methods of deploying renewable energies, such as hydrogen, and doom them indefinitely to the second? plan ? It looks like this.

The “Gigafactories” have become more than just battery factories, they go hand in hand with the “greening” of the industry. Tesla says its Nevada plant will be powered entirely by sustainable energy, and Nissan is planning the same for its plant.

Nissan is also planning to use second-life batteries to store off-peak energy in what it calls a micro-grid. The future is starting to look like a done deal.

I’ve never seen anything like it in my long career as an auto hacker, and it’s scary but exciting. I hope it turns out to be the dead certificate it needs to be. But one thing is certain: we will know by 2030.


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This notice was published: 2021-07-01 16:24:32

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