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Nissan Looks To Build A Better Battery

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2016 Nissan LEAF Badge

Nissan’s EV focus has always been on its Nissan LEAF, and the car has sold well over the past five years. The concern with electric cars, though, is always its range. Range is particularly important for the Nissan LEAF, as it has no gas range extenders like other EVs. Nissan and Nissan Arc Ltd announced last week that they were hard at work to build a better lithium ion battery to insure that the Nissan LEAF and other Nissan EVs’ range will grow.

If you’re wondering what Nissan Arc Ltd is, since it bears the manufacturer’s name, you’re not alone. Upon further investigation, we have discovered that Nissan ARC, as it is displayed on its website, actually stands for Nissan Analysis and Research Center, and it was founded in 1990 with funding from Nissan Motor Co and 33 of its associated parts and vehicle manufacturers.

Nissan Arc partnered with the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Tohoku University, the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) to examine the battery and boost the capacity of a lithium ion battery, which led them to a breakthrough with amorphous silicon monoxide (SiO).

The current silicon used in lithium ion batteries deteriorates, which is why the batteries tend to lose their charge over time. Amorphous silicon monoxide (SiO) does not deteriorate, but it is hard to use it in mass production needed to form car batteries. The researchers were able to look deeper into its structure to determine how it stores more energy and how it could be used in future manufacturing.

The discovery is significant enough that the findings have been published in the Nature Communications science journal. Not only will it allow the Nissan LEAF to go further than ever before, but perhaps the technology will be helpful in other future electronics that rely on batteries.