China-owned Envision AESC Group said it planned to build a new plant in north east Japan to produce batteries for Nissan electric vehicles (EVs).

The company said it would invest JPY50bn (US$455m) through its Envision AESC Japan subsidiary in a factory in Ibaraki prefecture with an initial production capacity of 6GWh of lithium-ion batteries, enough to power 160,000 electric vehicles.

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Construction is set to begin in October, with completion scheduled for 2024.

The company also announced plans to lift its total spend for the plant to JPY100bn within five years to expand capacity to 18GWh as it responds to rising EV demand worldwide.

Nissan sold a majority stake in its Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) battery subsidiary to Envision Group in 2018 although it still retains a 20% stake in the company which has also kept its Japanese base.

Reports last week suggested Nissan Motor planned to take a direct stake in the new EV battery plant in Japan in addition to its existing stake in Envision AESC.

Envision AESC said it expected to receive a JPY2bn subsidy from the Ibaraki government for its investment in the region which is also home to a number of automotive equipment plants.