Japan’s Nissan is betting on solid-state batteries and is playing gigacast for the next generation of electric vehicles.

Japan’s Nissan is betting on solid-state batteries and is playing gigacast for the next generation of electric vehicles.

Japanese automaker Nissan Motor will begin mass production of advanced batteries for electric vehicles as early as 2029, using large casting machines to increase efficiency and cut costs for future models, the automaker said Tuesday.

Nissan is funding technological development to fend off fierce competition from rivals such as Tesla and BYD, which have come to the fore in producing battery-powered vehicles.

Japan’s third-largest factory will conduct prototype tests and manufacture solid-state batteries at an unfinished pilot plant in Yokohama, a city near Tokyo, before building production capacity. Solid state batteries are expected to charge faster and last longer than conventional batteries.

Nissan expects the first solid-state batteries to be manufactured at the site starting in March 2025. Starting in the fiscal year starting in April 2028, Nissan will deploy 100 workers on a shift basis to increase production to 100 megawatt hours per month.

The company will also start manufacturing the rear floor of the electric vehicles it sells using high-performance machinery from a year ago. This process will reduce manufacturing costs by 10% and reduce component weight by 20%, it said.

Nissan has been using cast plates for front air-conditioning structural parts at its Tochigi plant for more than 15 years, said Hideyuki Sakamoto, executive vice president of production and supply management.

The automaker has considered various options for the bodywork, he added. “In the end, we chose Gigacasting’s 6,000-ton machine to produce the rear bodywork of the cars from cast aluminum.

Nissan plans to launch 30 new models over the next three years. Of these, 16 will be electrified, including eight battery-only vehicles and four plug-in hybrids.

The carmaker, which pioneered electric cars with its battery-powered Leaf, wants to reduce the cost of the next generation of such cars by 30% to be comparable to combustion engines by 2030.

Nissan is considering a strategic partnership with domestic rival Honda Motor to collaborate on the development of key components for electric vehicles and artificial intelligence in automotive software platforms, the companies said last month. (Reporting by Daniel Leussink, editing: Mark Potter)