Nissan US lithium-ion battery plant starts LEAF EV pack production

The cell fabrication factory in Smyrna is the largest plant in the U.S. that builds automotive-scale lithiumion batteries, and one of just three globally for Nissan.

Nissan’s lithium-ion automotive battery plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, US, has started production of battery components for 2013 Nissan LEAF electric vehicle (EV).

The first set of batteries manufactured at the plant have completed aging process and are now ready to power the new EV.

The facility has a capacity of producing modules for about 200,000 batteries per year.

Nissan received a loan of about $1.4bn from the US Department of Energy to construct the battery plant and revamp the Smyrnamanufacturing facility.

Nissan Motor president and chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn said: “The opening of this facility in Tennessee supports our goal of making zero-emissions mobility a reality through American jobs and American manufacturing.”

The carmaker is also planning to add 15 more hybrid models by 2016, which will develop an approximate 19% increase in average fuel economy since 2005.

Production of LEAF EV is expected to start to start in early 2013, which will be built along the same line as Altima and Maxima models.