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TOKYO — Japan's Nissan Motor Co. is working on a lithium-ion battery that can power an electric vehicle for 300 kilometres (190 miles) on a single charge, the business daily Nikkei said Sunday.

The distance is nearly double the 160-kilometre range of the Leaf, Nissan's first all-electric car set to go on sale in late 2010 in Japan, the United States and Europe.

Nissan, Japan's third largest automaker, aims to produce electric cars incorporating the new battery by 2015, according to Nikkei.

Nissan plans to boost the capacity of the lithium-ion battery's positive electrode by adding nickel and cobalt to its main material, manganese, it said.

The enhanced battery can store about twice as much electricity as batteries with positive electrodes made only from manganese.

It is robust enough for practical use, able to withstand about 1,000 charge cycles, the daily said.

The company estimates that the battery will cost about the same as conventional lithium-ion ones to produce, as it contains only a small amount of expensive cobalt.

Ahead of last month's Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn said his company aimed to make rechargeable batteries for electric cars a "core business" as he predicted a bright future for zero-emission vehicles.

source: google

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