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Nissan Breaks Ground on Li-ion Manufacturing Facility for LEAF Packs in Tennessee; Capacity for 200,000 Packs per Year

Nissan broke ground on the manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn., that will produce the lithium-ion batteries that 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 2012.

The battery plant, one of the largest vehicle battery manufacturing plants in North America at 1.3 million square feet at full capacity, will be capable of producing 200,000 advanced-technology batteries annually. It will be located adjacent to the vehicle assembly plant, which will be retooled to accommodate production of Nissan LEAF and will be capable of producing 150,000 electric cars annually.

Combined, the construction of the battery plant and modification of the Smyrna manufacturing facility to accommodate Nissan LEAF production represents an investment of up to $1.7 billion, which initially is being supported by a US Department of Energy loan for 80% 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.

Approximately 13,000 US consumers have placed a reservation for Nissan LEAF since reservations opened on 20 April. Nissan LEAF begins rolling out to select markets in the United States, Japan and Europe in December, with increased availability beginning in spring 2011, and full market rollout in 2012. It initially will be produced in Oppama, Japan, and will be equipped with lithium-ion batteries being produced in Zama, Japan. The Renault-Nissan Alliance will also produce lithium-ion batteries in Cacia, Portugal, and Sunderland, UK, as well as in Renault’s Flins plant in France.



Now, when Leaf sales are finalized in December, quality EV battery cells will be available and no general menace can crush, sue, or shelve critical technology.


It looks like the Leaf may have stiffer competition than thought,as GM plan to make the Volt price-competitive:

Other point s interest is that they specify their battery costs, around $625kwh, and plan a rotary engine for the Volt II

Account Deleted

The importance of what Nissan is doing here cannot be stressed enough. Their battery factory will by far be the world’s largest producing 200,000*24kWh = 4.8 million kWh of batteries per year. For comparison, the current global production of lithium batteries of all kinds for all producers was about 16 million kWh in 2009. That factory is likely to be bigger than Sanyo’s and Panasonic’s combined production capacity for lithium batteries in 2009. I think that Nissan can make their battery packs for a little less than 10000 USD per 24kWh pack at that factory when it reach full capacity and this is the reason that they are able to price the LEAF at 33000 USD and still make normal profits selling that car.

And this is just the beginning. As reported Nissan (Link to next Nissan battery) are working on a second generation automotive battery with almost twice the power density than the 140Wh/kg at the cell level in the current LEAF and they expect to start producing that battery in 2015. As I read the story they will be able to cut the price almost in half per kWh with the new battery. I expect Nissan to be able to produce a 24kWh battery at about 6000 USD when they get into volume production with this next generation battery probably around 2017. Moreover, at that time a 24 kwh battery will carry a version 2 of the LEAF for about 120 miles because of weigh reductions, more efficient power electronics, motor and better aerodynamics.

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In the above I said 'twice the power density' but I should have written 'twice the energy density'. Sorry.

Brady Bragg

Offsetting Manufacturing ERP Pain

12 Steps to a Better ERP Launch©
Carlos Lozano, MCS, MBA, Consultant

Improved processes and a competitive edge are the destination, but how do you get there? Whether your business is entering a first ever enterprise resource planning (ERP) experience or considering a move to an ERP that more effectively meets current requirements, clear expectations and planning can improve your experience and near term success. The following steps will help you reach your goal.

1) Quantify ROI expectations. Know why you are implementing a new ERP and what the results will be. These should be specific to the processes you are seeking to improve such as inventory, and the time frame in which the ROI is to take place.
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A. Be willing to commit the time, information, processes and resources to making this transition successful.
B. Keep the vision of improved competitiveness and profits at the forefront at all times.
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B. Consulting partners facilitate success, provide tools and expertise.
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A. Project managers should include key player from all departments and processes.
B. Project manager should welcome individual input while conveying that they will have final decision making responsibility.
5) Assume that the project will take time away from established resources for the project implementation period.
A. Time impacts productivity.
B. Time may require additional human resources allocation or redistribution on a temporary basis.
C. Plan ahead to compensate for these changes.
6) Stick to the initial scope of the project, unless a critical element has been overlooked, and save the “wish list” for later.
7) Acknowledge expertise gaps and bring in objective outside resources when necessary for first round implementation success.
8) Assume that change is not easy but it is the way to growth. Let go of what isn’t working for your organization. The goal is greater efficiency and competitiveness. If the old way worked, your organization wouldn’t have launched on the path for a new ERP.
9) Train to reinforce, test, transfer knowledge and insure the best delivery for your project. Training completes the cycle and takes the hypothetical to real world success.
10) Make a clean break. Do not run parallel systems once you launch. This reinforces old behaviors and habits. Test the system before launch and make sure everything works before you Go Live.
11) Allocate on-site support for the first 30 days or more after you go live. Do not assume that your human resources already know how to do their job in the new construct. It’s easier to identify and fix glitches earlier than later.
12) ERP will not be painless but the process can be made easier by following these guidelines.

Carlos Lozano, an entrepreneur and international manufacturing and ERP software expert, has launched two successful technology companies during the last 20 years. He is currently the CEO of ITS-Dynamics, Inc., with operations in Austin, Texas, Mexico and Chile, and the company is a leading Microsoft Dynamics Gold Partner in both the U.S. in Latin America. Lozano is an MBA graduate of the IPADE School of Business, considered one of the world’s top MBA programs. He may be contacted at or you may visit the company web site:


"Nissan LEAF production represents an investment of up to $1.7 billion, which initially is being supported by a US Department of Energy loan for 80% of that investment, up to $1.4 billion."

So, this is another American taxpayer owned automaker - this time with a Japanese brand name. It is good that taxpayers be informed that they already own a piece of the LEAF and VOLT. Both are leading edge EVs. If buyers want to direct their spending toward more US product they might elect the VOLT. But both automakers are being subsidized (apparently GM has repaid its loans) by US taxpayers.

In the case of Nissan they might want to use this to help introduce the LEAF. "You helped us get here..." etc. Good news for the EV business. As Henrik points out this is a huge commitment by Nissan and the DOE.


Not only do they get loans and tax breaks, but the buyers of the cars will get tax breaks as well. Some might call it picking "winners and losers" but if it picks winners that make the future better, then so be it.


We need to reduce oil consumption/imports - and this is one small way that is, I hope, worth it.

But loans and tax breaks to Nissan and to the buyers is a bit expensive.

And "GM, which hasn't announced pricing for the Volt, seems likely to be subsidizing it when the car does go on sale"

And, GM says; "Right now, the propulsion system is too expensive, . . the Volt's 16 kilowatt-hour battery pack cost now is "roughly $10,000 per car"

I hope these expensive, early EVs advance the state of the art (drive battery priced down) and make EVs truly cost effective.

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