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.