Capacity: 200,000 Batteries a Year
Compared to getting the batteries right, getting the rest of an electric car right is relatively easy. After all, most of the rest of the vehicle is pretty similar to what automakers are already doing, and an electric vehicle is mechanically much simpler than a gasoline or diesel vehicle (the power electronics and software is more complex, but most of the rest is simpler). That's why it's so important to get the batteries right, and Nissan's approach is that "when you want something done right, you better do it yourself." That's why they're building a huge lithium-ion battery plant in Tennessee.
Nissan Leaf battery. Photo: Nissan
Nissan wrote: "The foundation is laid, structure being erected and roof being installed on the vehicle battery manufacturing plant, which at 1.3 million square feet at full capacity will be one of the largest in the country. The battery 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."
Those batteries will mostly go to the Nissan LEAF at first, but Nissan will no doubt introduce more electric models in the coming years.
The Smyrna plant should be operational starting in 2012.
Via Nissan, ABG
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