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NissanTech 01-26-2011 01:31 PM

Nissan Progresses Construction of Electric Vehicle Battery Plant in Tennessee
Nissan Progresses Construction of Electric Vehicle Battery Plant in Tennessee

- Smyrna facility to be one of the largest electric vehicle battery plants in the U.S. -

Construction is progressing on Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn., which will produce lithium-ion batteries to power the Nissan LEAF zero-emission vehicle. The all-electric Nissan LEAF will be produced at Nissan’s vehicle assembly facility in Smyrna beginning in late 2012.

The foundation is laid, structure being erected and roof being installed on the vehicle battery manufacturing plant, which will be one of the largest in the country at full capacity of 1.3 million square feet. The plant will be capable of producing 200,000 advanced-technology batteries annually. It is located adjacent to Nissan’s vehicle assembly plant, which is being retooled to accommodate production of Nissan LEAF and will be capable of producing 150,000 electric cars annually. Combined, Nissan LEAF and battery production will create up to 1,300 U.S. manufacturing jobs when the plants are operating at full capacity.

“Nissan is making significant strides to be one of the largest producers of electric vehicles and batteries in the United States,” said Carlos Tavares, Chairman, Nissan Americas. “We applaud President Obama’s goal of bringing 1 million electric vehicles to U.S. roads by 2015 and look forward to doing our part to ensure that many of those vehicles, and the batteries that power them, are built in the United States.”

Combined, the construction of the battery plant and modification of the Smyrna manufacturing facility represent an investment of up to $1.7 billion. The project initially is being supported by a U.S. Department of Energy loan for 80 percent of that investment, up to $1.4 billion.

The loan was issued as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, a $25 billion program authorized by Congress as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The program is designed to accelerate the development of vehicles and technologies that increase U.S. energy independence, create cleaner means of transportation and stimulate the American economy.

Sales of the Nissan LEAF – the world’s first all-electric, zero-emission vehicle available for the mass market – began in select markets in the United States in December 2010. It will be available nationwide in 2012, when production expands to the Tennessee facility. The Nissan LEAF initially is being produced in Oppama, Japan, and will be equipped with lithium-ion batteries being produced in Zama, Japan. The Renault-Nissan Alliance also will produce lithium-ion batteries in Cacia, Portugal, and Sunderland, UK, as well as in Renault’s Flins plant in France.

palmer_md 07-26-2011 08:19 AM

Any further news on this. I've not heard anything since January. Will this battery plant go online before the Leaf production in TN? Or will they both go online at the same time?

NissanTech 07-26-2011 09:32 AM

The following is an article published on May, during the U.S. Secretary of Transportation visit:

Today, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood toured the construction site where Nissan is building a state-of-the-art facility to manufacture advanced lithium-ion batteries. The plant, which will be the largest in the country capable of manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications, will produce the battery packs powering the Nissan LEAF, the world’s first affordable, mass-market, all-electric vehicle.

Construction of Nissan’s advanced lithium-ion battery plant is approximately 75 percent complete and scheduled to be finished by late summer. Nissan then will start installing the battery manufacturing equipment inside the plant and will be capable of producing lithium-ion batteries beginning in late 2012. The plant will have the capacity to produce 200,000 batteries annually.

“With gas prices at record highs, the Obama Administration has taken aggressive action to make sure families have access to fuel efficient vehicles that can help reduce their transportation costs,” said Secretary LaHood. “That’s why I’m so thrilled to see the progress Nissan is making at its new manufacturing facility, where American workers will soon be building cutting-edge batteries for a new generation of electric vehicles that are good for the environment, good for the economy, and good for American consumers.”

“Nissan’s advanced-technology battery plant is a strong symbol of our commitment to usher in a new era in transportation, a commitment we share with the Obama Administration,” said William Krueger, senior vice president, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Supply Chain Management and Total Customer Satisfaction for Nissan Americas. “Secretary LaHood’s visit emphasizes the key role this plant will play in the future of clean transportation for the United States.”

The 475,000 sq.-ft. battery facility will be a U.S. manufacturing center of excellence for clean transportation solutions, providing the power source for 150,000 all-electric Nissan LEAFs annually. Nissan LEAF is the world’s first and only affordable, all-electric vehicle designed for the mass market and was recently named “World Car of the Year” by a panel of automotive journalists from Asia, Europe and North America.

palmer_md 07-26-2011 07:03 PM

Thanks. Looks like a simultaneous startup. I guess it takes a long time to build a 1.3M sqft building. I guess I cant picture how big that really is. My house is 1.3 thousand sqft. I have no idea what a 1000 of my houses looks like.

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