U.S. Secretary Of Transportation Visits Nissan Battery Site

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood toured the site of Nissan’s future lithium-ion battery factory this week. Nissan Dealer Seattle said the state-of-the-art facility will eventually build batteries for a range of automotive applications, particularly for the Nissan Leaf, the world’s first affordable, mass-market, all-electric vehicle.

According to Washington DC Nissan Dealers, the plant is about 75 percent complete and is on schedule to open this summer. Advanced lithium-ion battery production is slated to begin in late 2012.

“With gas prices at record highs, the Obama Administration has taken aggressive action to make sure families have access to fuel efficient vehicles that can help reduce their transportation costs,” said Secretary LaHood. “That’s why I’m so thrilled to see the progress Nissan is making at its new manufacturing facility, where American workers will soon be building cutting-edge batteries for a new generation of electric vehicles that are good for the environment, good for the economy, and good for American consumers.”

Nissan believes the 475,000 sq.-ft. battery facility will be a U.S. manufacturing center of excellence for clean transportation solutions, providing the power source for 150,000 all-electric Nissan Leafs annually. According to Nissan Dealer Connecticut, at this time, the Leaf is the only affordable, all-electric vehicle designed for the mass market.

“Nissan’s advanced-technology battery plant is a strong symbol of our commitment to usher in a new era in transportation, a commitment we share with the Obama Administration,” said William Krueger, senior vice president, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Supply Chain Management and Total Customer Satisfaction for Nissan Americas. “Secretary LaHood’s visit emphasizes the key role this plant will play in the future of clean transportation for the United States.”