Nissan has started the development of its lithium ion batteries ahead of the American launch of its all-electric car in 2010. The Japanese firm’s joint-venture company with electronics giant NEC, called Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, aims to begin production of the batteries next year.Producing reliable, affordable batteries that can provide a reasonable range has been the biggest challenge facing car companies developing electric vehicles. Nissan claims that AESC batteries have been tested for over 60,000 miles and that they can produce twice the power of conventional nickel-hydride batteries. The laminated construction means that they take up less space and weigh less, too. “Nissan firmly believes the ultimate solution for sustainable mobility lies in zero-emission vehicles,” said Carlos Tavares, executive vice-president of Nissan. “Electric vehicles represent one clear strategic direction embedded in Nissan GT 2012, our new mid-term business plan.”The company is also involved with Project Better Place, which aims to provide an infrastructure to support electric vehicles. Renault-Nissan wants to use PBP’s assistance to introduce electric cars to Denmark and Israel in 2011.