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China IoT Firm Buys Controlling Stake in Nissan Battery Venture


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Shanghai-based Envision Group is acquiring a controlling stake in Nissan Motor Co.’s Automotive Energy Supply Corp. (AESC), which supplies lithium-ion batteries for the carmaker’s electric vehicles.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Nissan will maintain an undisclosed minority stake in AESC and plans to continue to use the company’s batteries in future EVs.

Envision, which was founded in 2007, describes itself as a digital energy company that specializes in managing energy networks and connecting to the Internet of Things (IoT). The company’s EnOS system connects more than 50 million smart devices used for wind, solar, energy storage, charging networks, electric vehicles and home energy management.

Envision intends to integrate its IoT technology with AESC’s lithium batteries to make intelligent batteries, using them to incorporate millions of electric vehicles into the electric grid and future energy network. This will help facilitate the dynamic balancing of energy usage and generation for “fragmented renewable energy systems," Envision says.

Envision intends to upgrade AESC's existing production facilities in Japan, the U.K. and U.S. to enable the production of higher density systems with long-range driving capabilities. Envision also plans to open a manufacturing plant in Wuxi, China.

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