Earlier this year, Nissan applied for low interest loans under the Department of Energy Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Incentive Program. In order to qualify for those loans, Nissan would have to use the government funds to build something "green" in the U.S., and it appears that if Nissan gets the loan it plans to build electric vehicles at its Smyrna, Tennessee assembly plant. The line, which is expected to have a capacity of 50-100,000 units annually, could be up and running by 2012.
Automotive Energy Supply Company, the Nissan-NEC battery joint venture, also plans to set up shop in Smyrna. Initial production of both batteries and electric cars will start in Japan in 2010. Reuters is reporting that Nissan is expecting to get approval for a loan of $1 billion for the assembly and battery projects.