Reflecting the automaker’s commitment to both U.S. manufacturing and the electric vehicle (EV) market, Nissan recently provided an update on construction of its new battery plant in Smyrna, Tenn., which remains on schedule for its planned opening late next year.
At this stage, the foundation has been laid for the 1.3-million-square-foot facility—destined to be one of the largest in the country—and work on both the structure itself and its roof has now begun. Notably, the plant is being built next door to the same Nissan assembly facility that is currently being retooled for production of the Nissan Leaf, the automaker’s groundbreaking new EV, capable of up to 73 miles of all-electric, emissions-free driving on a single charge. When both facilities are completed, the complex will be able to produce 150,000 EVs and 200,000 EV batteries annually—and will create up to 1,300 job when the plants are running at full capacity.
Those extra 50,000 batteries? Nissan is so confident in its EV technology that it will be offering to sell battery packs to other OEMs for use in their future electric vehicles.
“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.”