Nissan is selling off its EV battery operations

Nissan is selling off its EV battery operations

Our 'future models' analysis is always popular and, this week, we put Land Rover and Range Rover SUVs for the 2020s - not that far away - under the microscope. We talked connected car user experience with Harman and I, having fired a heap of flak at Toyota stylists over their (cars') waistlines, was put thoroughly in my place by my own traitorous kids.

In an interesting strategic move, to stick with the core business of car making, Nissan announced plans to sell its electric battery operations and production facilities to GSR Capital, a private investment fund. The sale and purchase agreement covers Nissan's battery subsidiary, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), as well as battery manufacturing operations in Smyrna, Tennessee, owned by Nissan North America, and in Sunderland, England, owned by Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK). Assets sold to GSR will also include part of Nissan's Japanese battery development and production engineering operations located in Oppama, Atsugi and Zama.

Mazda Motor Corporation announced a new Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 technology development strategy which includes its petrol compression ignition engine which it will call Skyactiv-X and launch in 2019. It will be a claimed world first, using compression ignition in which the fuel-air mixture ignites spontaneously when compressed by the piston. A proprietary combustion method called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition overcomes two issues that had impeded commercialisation of compression ignition petrol engines: maximizing the zone in which compression ignition is possible and achieving a seamless transition between compression ignition and spark ignition. So it'll still have the plugs.

We're getting used to online manuals for cars - either in the car infortainment system or elsewhere - and now Genesis has announced an augmented reality manual as an app. Clever stuff but I still prefer an old fashioned book in the car not reliant on electricity, data availability or any other interruptible.

Following last week's German government summit with automakers over diesel, the big German automakers have all offered new incentives to owners to get out of older models and BMW has extended this to the UK which revives memories of the government funded scrappage schemes in both countries some years back. It's been suggested as many as 1.3m German owners alone might take up the offer.

Ford appointed a London based smart mobility director for Europe and Our Man in Brazil detailed the new Renault Kwid just going on sale there; it's already in India.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, deputy editor,