Nissan has revealed plans to cut its electric car leasing costs by recycling the batteries and put them to alternative uses, such as industrial and domestic energy storage.
The firm's boss Carlos Ghosn used the Tokyo show to announce a tie-up with the Sumitomo Corporation that could produce up to 50,000 reconditioned battery packs per year by 2020.
"We're going to be a big player in the battery market," said Ghosn. "We are not going to buy batteries, we're going to make them."
Nissan hopes that finding uses for the secondhand lithium ion battery packs used in electric vehicles will allow it to lease the units more cheaply to car buyers. The reconditioned packs, which will offer up to 80 per cent of their original capacity, could be used to store energy created by solar panels.
Nissan sources are now optimistic that the lease cost of the batteries in EVs will be on a similar level to fuel bills for a regular car.