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Compact Li-ION battery-powered Nissan forklift concept to debut at CeMAT 2008


Nissan Forklift will debut its first Li-ION powered forklift concept model at the CeMAT 2008 logistics exhibition, to be held at Hannover from May 27 -31.

The electric-powered forklift employs advanced Li-ION battery technology developed by Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), a joint-venture between Nissan Motor Co. and NEC Corporation and NEC TOKIN Corporation. This technology was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the Nissan concept car “Mixim”. The technology is also featured in the PIVO 2 concept car.

The Nissan GT 2012 mid-term business plan reflects the company’s determination to play a major role in the development of a sustainable mobile society. Under the plan, Nissan has committed to introduce a pure electric vehicle in the U.S. and Japan in 2010 and then to mass-market electric vehicles to consumers globally in 2012.

Breakthrough technology
The development of Li-ION technology started in 1992 and the development of laminated Li-ION battery technology started in 2000 in collaboration with NEC which lead to:

1. Battery pack and module structures using compact laminated cells developed by Nissan from its long experience in vehicle application.
2. The use of manganese with special additive for positive electrodes in order to achieve a longer life and higher power. This technology is a NEC development.
3. Technology of packaging battery cells. Optimum cooling performance has been achieved by using the better characteristics of a laminated structure as much as possible.

Major Li-ION characteristics

Compared to conventional lead-acid batteries, Li-ION power offers a number of beneficial characteristics for the environmental as well as operational advantages - superior performance, reliability, safety, versatility and cost competitiveness.
Environmental advantages

* Zero emission and no harmful materials used in the battery.
* Li-ION technology does not use restricted pollutants such as cadmium, lead, mercury or sulfuric acid. As there are no gas emissions during charging, there is no need for dedicated charging bays.
* Less energy consumption (less CO2).

Operational advantages (Comparison with conventional lead-acid type battery)

* Quick Charge
Charging a Li-ION battery is quicker and allows for longer operational hours. It makes operations more flexible and reduces the need for additional batteries.
* Maintenance Free
Maintenance is virtually zero as there is no need for refilling of the battery cells with water as normally required for lead-acid batteries.
* High Power
Li-ION batteries offer significant more power and energy, resulting in better performance and higher uptimes.
* Long Life
After some time the polar plates of a conventional lead-acid battery become sulphated. It causes high resistance and extreme difficulty to recharge again. The almost perfect reversible reaction process between electrons and Li-ion does not cause this type of “waste”. It results in a longer battery life which reduces replacement investments considerably.
* Compact
Size of Li-ION batteries can be reduced dramatically against conventional lead-acid batteries of the same capacity, allowing for flexible design and arrangement in the forklift truck.
* Excellent (Dis)charge Performance
During charging and discharging there is less energy loss and less energy is needed to fully charge the Li-ION battery. Extended working time also results from larger recovering energy from regenerative braking.

Time to market

As the laminated Li-ION technology is still in the research and development phase, an exact introduction date is not clear yet. Nissan Forklift expects to introduce this technology by 2009.

The AESC joint-venture, will invest 12.0 billion yen (US $114.6 million) over a three-year period in a manufacturing facility to be located at Nissan’s Zama facility in Kanagawa Prefecture and operational by 2009.


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