Nissan Motor Co. and battery maker EnerDel will co-fund research for a breakthrough technology consisting of a new electrical conductive material for electric and hybrid vehicle batteries, EnerDel said in a statement Thursday.

The target of the research is an electrolyte or a liquid that works as the conductive material between battery electrodes. The firms seek to lower costs and improve performance.

This is an opportunity to make a major new contribution to the future of electric drive in the U.S. and to forge a closer relationship with a major global car maker, EnerDel Chief Operating Officer Naoki Ota said in a statement.

The companies will do research in the U.S. at the Department of Energy's Arqonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, according to the announcement.