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Nissan, Sumitomo Corp. and 4R set up plant to recycle electric-car batteries

The factory will be Japan’s first specializing in the reuse and recycling of used lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles

The 4R plant in Namie, Japan, will specialize in the reuse
and recycling of batteries from electric vehicles.


NAMIE, Japan – Japan’s first plant specializing in the reuse and recycling of lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles is set to open amid growing demand for electric cars.

The new factory, in the town of Namie in eastern Japan, will be operated by 4R Energy Corporation, a joint venture between Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation.

The number of electric cars on the road is rising rapidly as environmental issues, including climate change, weigh on the minds of motorists around the world. The availability of used lithium-ion batteries is expected to increase significantly in the near future as buyers of the first generation of electric cars look to replace their vehicles. The recycling and refabrication of such batteries is expected to have a substantial impact on the battery industry, affecting demand for new battery materials, and on the environment and society as a whole.

Established in 2010 by Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation to focus on the effective reuse of electric-car batteries, 4R has gained valuable expertise. The company has developed a system that quickly measures the performance of used batteries, and it plans to apply this innovative technology to batteries collected from all over Japan at the Namie plant.

The plant will serve as the global center for 4R’s development and manufacturing. The batteries recycled and refabricated at the factory will be used to offer the world’s first exchangeable refabricated battery for electric vehicles, and will also be used in large-scale storage systems and electric forklifts. The plant is the first new factory in Namie since the town was devastated by Japan’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and is expected to help revitalize the local economy.

As a leader in zero-emission technologies, Nissan seeks to realize a sustainable-mobility society by developing and marketing electric vehicles and promoting their use globally.

Sumitomo Corporation is a firm believer in the positive impact of electric vehicles on the global environment and is contributing to the expansion of their use in collaboration with 4R. The company’s continuing efforts include promoting the reuse and recycling of used electric-car batteries for purposes including the development of stationary power storage systems.

About Sumitomo Corporation
Sumitomo Corporation (“SC”) is a leading Fortune 500 global trading and business investment company with 107 locations in 65 countries and 22 locations in Japan. The entire SC Group consists of more than 800 companies and 70,000 personnel. SC conducts commodity transactions in all industries utilizing worldwide networks, provides related customers with various financing, serves as an organizer and a coordinator for various projects, and invests in companies to promote greater growth potential. SC’s core business areas include Metal Products, Transportation and Construction Systems, Environment and Infrastructure, Media, Network, Lifestyle Related Goods and Services, Mineral Resources, Energy, and Chemical and Electronics.



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Koji Okuda or Nicholas Maxfield
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
+81 (0)45-523-5552

Yosuke Yamawaki, Masaru Mitsuhara or Masaki Kondo
Sumitomo Corp.
+81 (0)3-5166-3100

Atsushi Nishi or Syun Oe
4R Energy Corp.
+81 (0)45-263-6718

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