March 30 (Bloomberg) -- NEC Corp., Japan’s largest maker of personal computers, will invest more than 50 billion yen ($542 million) to expand production of parts used in lithium- ion batteries supplied to Nissan Motor Co.
The money will be spent over the next 12 months, NEC spokesman Chris Shimizu said today by telephone. Nissan, Japan’s third-largest carmaker, starts domestic production this year of its Leaf electric car and in the U.S. in 2012.
NEC, which supplies electrodes to a battery-making venture it has with Nissan, is looking to tap into a growing market for electric cars amid rising fuel prices and concern that conventional vehicle emissions worsen climate change. Morgan Stanley has forecast 52 percent compound annual growth for global auto battery demand from 2012 to 2018.
The Nikkan Kogyo newspaper reported the planned investment earlier today, citing an interview with Nobuhiro Endo, incoming president for the Tokyo-based company. Shimizu confirmed the report.
NEC climbed 2.9 percent to close at 282 yen after rising as high as 283 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1 percent.
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