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Nissan EV-02 prototype - click above for high res image gallery

Nissan has just announced that the Department of Energy has approved its request for a $1.6 billion low interest loan under the ATVM program. The money will be used to update the Smyrna, TN factory to build up to 150,000 battery electric vehicles and 200,000 lithium ion battery packs annually. Smyrna currently builds the Altima, Maxima, Frontier, XTerra and Pathfinder. Given the lagging sales of trucks, it seems likely that the pickups and SUVs will move out of Smyrna to make way for the new electric cars. The EV will be a five-passenger vehicle that will go into limited production in Japan in 2010 with U.S. production kicking off in late 2012. The extra battery capacity is being put in to accommodate sales to companies that aren't Nissan or Renault. Nissan and its joint venture partner NEC have indicated a willingness to sell batteries to any other automaker that wants them. Work on modifying the Smyrna facilities is expected to start by the end of this year.


[Source: Nissan]
Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.



06.23.2009 , Franklin, Tenn.
NISSAN'S PLAN FOR ZERO-EMISSIONS VEHICLES ADVANCES WITH U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY LOAN
- Automaker Will Use Loan to Add American Jobs, Help Improve Environment -
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (June 23, 2009) – Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today said it has been conditionally approved by the U.S. Department of Energy for a $1.6 billion loan to modify its Smyrna, Tenn., manufacturing plant to produce zero-emissions vehicles and state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery packs to power them.

The loan, announced by the U.S. Department of Energy, is among the first three loans under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVMLP), a $25-billion program authorized by Congress under Section 136 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The loan will help Nissan produce electric vehicles, which emit no gases and are powered only by electricity.

"This loan is an investment in America. It will help us put high-quality, affordable zero-emissions vehicles on our roads," said Dominique Thormann, senior vice president, Administration and Finance for NNA. "This project will expand our Smyrna plant and that's great economic news."

The ATVMLP is designed to accelerate the development of vehicles and technologies that increase U.S. energy independence, create cleaner means of transportation and stimulate the American economy. Companies receiving the loans go through a rigorous financial and technical qualification process and must put collateral in place before approval.

Construction at Smyrna is scheduled to begin by the end of this year, after an environmental assessment is completed. Production is planned to start in late 2012.

Nissan is committed to being a leader in zero-emissions mobility. It will offer electric vehicles in the United States and Japan beginning in 2010. The first vehicles for the U.S. market will be built in Japan before production is shifted to Smyrna.
"Nissan is confident that the Smyrna employees have the skill and dedication to take on this critical role in Nissan's future by launching a new form of transportation in the United States," said Susan Brennan, vice president, in charge of manufacturing at Smyrna. "This opens a new chapter in Nissan's 26-year manufacturing history in America."

The modifications of the Smyrna manufacturing plant include a new battery plant and changes in the existing structure for electric-vehicle assembly. When fully operational, the vehicle assembly plant will have the capacity to build 150,000 zero-emissions vehicles a year and the new plant will have an annual capacity of 200,000 batteries.

Nissan's electric vehicle will comfortably seat five people, drive on any American road or highway and have an initial range of 100 miles before recharging.

To help ensure that infrastructure is in place to support zero-emissions vehicles, during the past year, Nissan has been involved in establishing partnerships with governments, municipalities, utility companies, and public and private organizations aimed at creating conditions that will support the market for zero-emissions vehicles.

In the United States, Nissan is working with the State of Tennessee, the State of Oregon, Sonoma County and San Diego in California, Phoenix, Tucson, Seattle, Raleigh, and Washington, D.C. Globally, Nissan, with its Alliance partner Renault has begun ZEV initiatives in Kanagawa Prefecture and Yokohama in Japan, as well as in Israel, Denmark, Portugal, Monaco, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Ireland, China and Hong Kong.
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010, whose key priorities are reducing CO2 emissions, cutting other emissions and increasing recycling. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.infinitiUSA.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now we're cooking, finally. I just this morning decided to spend the money to get my old car repaired so it lasts a few more years in running condition rather then buy a new car now. I'm holding out for a plug!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Keep holding out, a lot of others including myself are too. Voting with our pocket books is the ONLY way we're going to effect change with these automakers. They'll clue in eventually but in the mean time my savings account for a new car with a plug keeps growing.

        Stew
      • 6 Years Ago
      More good news! Finally, if the government (the people tax dollars) is spending, at least it is something worthwhile, and with immediate benefits, as well as future benefits. The immediate benefits are jobs and products manufactured in the US. The future benefits is to start transferring all that oil profits into home grown US electric generations and infrastructures that employs Americans that cannot be offshored. Finally, an energy department that understand the benefits of making hard choices for energy independence, instead of squandering money to cater to big businesses.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Not all Americans will buy it, but many will. Just like not everybody will buy a small econobox, some will, that's the point. Small steps are better than big negative comments.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well Ford and Nissan are big business, But I get your point. The question is will Americans buy cars they have to plug in? I am not convinced we will, unless gas prices stay consistently above $4.00 per gallon.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Remember folks these are loans not grants so the companies will pay the money back, this is a win win for the gov.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bring on the EVs!!! Been waiting for decades for a viable EV (and not hybrid crap)!
      • 4 Years Ago
      ARE YOU IN ANY FINANCIAL NEED OR DO YOU NEED FUNDS TO START UP YOUR OWN BUSINESS? DO YOU NEED LOAN TO SETTLE YOUR DEBT OR PAY OFF YOUR BILLS OR START A NICE BUSINESS? DO YOU HAVE A LOW CREDIT SCORE AND YOU ARE FINDING IT HARD TO OBTAIN CAPITAL LOAN FROM LOCAL BANKS/OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTES? DO YOU NEED? A LOAN OR FUNDING FOR ANY REASON
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      AS SOON AS YOU FILL THE FORM AND RETURN IT, I WILL SEND YOU MY LOAN
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      THANKS.
      Mr.Donald Kale


      • 6 Years Ago
      In response to the comment that EV's are only attractive if petrol prices stay above $4/gal., check out the IEA's assessment of oil prospects.
      A few months ago they published that in order to maintain any reasonable level of supply since demand is growing rapidly in places like China and India, several new Saudi Arabia's would need to be discovered and brought into production in the next few years, and vast investment is needed.
      Leaving aside the question as to whether these new Saudi's exist, the investment just is not happening, and the latest update from the IEA predicts shortages and rapidly rising prices by around 2014 with reasonable GDP growth, or a touch later if the economy stays in the doldrums.
      Those who think that Canadian tar sands will bail the US out should reflect on the huge costs incurred, financially and environmentally, in increasing production, and again that is just not happening.
      So in anything but the shortest term rising gas prices are built in.
      Don't buy a gas-guzzler!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm sure all of the folks at the Saturn Plant in Spring Hill, TN will be glad to see their tax money going to Nissan. Someone has to keep working so they can get their unemployment
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why does it matter that money's its Nissan?? The money is going to jobs HERE. When somebody buys one of those cars they will be supporting American salaries Its genius thinking like yours that got Saturn to the position its in today.