As the release date of the Nissan Leaf gets closer and closer, we eagerly await word on each and every production update. This latest bit of news rolling in relates to battery production. NEC, one of the joint venture partners of Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), officially announced that mass production of the Leaf's battery pack kicked off late last week. The announcement comes as no surprise, but it's comforting to know that the Leaf is one step closer to introduction. With battery production underway, it shouldn't be long before Leafs begin to roll off the line.
For now, NEC's Sagamihara plant in Japan is solely responsible for the production of the Nissan Leaf battery pack. By 2013, Nissan's battery manufacturing facilities in Smyrna, TN and Sunderland, UK will be operational and provide a significant, and hopefully much needed, boost in production capacity. With a nationwide rollout of the Leaf in the U.S. scheduled for 2011 and Canada inked in for 2012, the Sagamihara plant will likely have to function at full bore to keep up with demand.