Construction continues on what will become one of the largest electric vehicle battery plants in the United States. The plant is being built at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee, and it will produce lithium-ion batteries to power the Nissan Leaf.
The plant will occupy 1.3 million square feet and will be capable of producing 200,000 advanced-technology batteries annually. The assembly plant adjacent to the site is currently being retooled to produce the Leaf EV as well. Combined, Nissan Leaf and battery production will create up to 1,300 U.S. manufacturing jobs when the plants are operating at full capacity.
Construction 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 given 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 aimed at promoting U.S. energy dependence.
“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.”