Nissan is donating Leafs and electric-vehicle charging stations to Middle Tennessee State University. And the good news is that the cars will be able to get to campus from the Nissan factory on a single charge, with plenty of room to spare.
The Japanese automaker will give two Leafs and three charging stations to the university as part of an effort to promote electric-powered vehicle transportation. The vehicles will be used as part of the school's vehicle fleet, while the charging stations will be available to students, faculty and visitors, according to Middle Tennessee State.
The university is located about 15 miles southeast of the Nissan factory in Smyrna, TN. Nissan, whose year-to-date U.S. sales of the Leaf are down 26 percent from a year earlier, will start producing domestic Leafs at the factory by the end of the year and will add a new factory for lithium-ion battery production.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Nissan North America Inc. announced Tuesday it has donated two Nissan LEAF cars and three charging stations to Middle Tennessee State University to promote the use of electric-vehicle technology.
MTSU officials said the Nissan LEAF cars will be added to the University's motor pool and the charging stations will be made available for use by students, faculty, staff and visitors to the Murfreesboro campus.
"As Nissan and MTSU are two of the largest employers in Rutherford County, our future and success are, in many ways, intertwined," University President Sidney A. McPhee said. "This is a significant expansion in the relationship we have enjoyed with Nissan.
"It is another step in building a stronger partnership between our two organizations. We look forward to learning more about Nissan's innovations in electric-vehicle technology by putting these vehicles to work for our University."
Nissan's Rutherford County plant in Smyrna, one of its three production plants in the United States, opened in June 1983. The vehicle assembly plant has an annual production capacity of 550,000 vehicles and represents a capital investment of $2.5 billion.
Nissan will produce the LEAF in Smyrna by the end of the year and plans to open a new plant there this fall to produce lithium-ion batteries – the first facility of its kind in the U.S.
Martin said the Nissan LEAF is 100 percent electric and available in all states. Its features include:
Kevin Martin, director of Nissan Parts Quality Engineering, said the MTSU donation "builds on the long-standing relationship between Nissan and MTSU, and it points to our mutual passion for quality-both in engineering and in education. "
"We hope that the innovation behind the Nissan LEAF inspires MTSU students interested in advanced technology," Martin said.
Nissan developed many of the interior fabrics from recycled materials (such as plastic water bottles).
LED headlights (use about half the energy of traditional headlights).
The available solar-panel spoiler converts sunlight to energy, charging the 12V accessory battery and powering accessories like the interior lights and entertainment system.
Inside the city, the Nissan LEAF gets the equivalent of 106 miles per gallon, can reach a top speed of about 90mph and has an estimated range of up to 100 miles on a full charge.
The automaker also donated a Titan pickup truck to the University, Martin said.
Headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., NNA coordinates all operations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico including automotive styling, consumer, and corporate financing and engineering. About 370 of Nissan's employees are MTSU graduates, company officials said.
Nissan first came to the United States to sell vehicles in 1958 and began importing and making Datsun vehicles in the United States under the Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation (NMMC), name in 1983.
In 1990, Nissan North America Inc. (NNA), was created to coordinate all of Nissan's various activities in North America to enhance the design, development, manufacturing, and marketing of Nissan vehicles. In 1998, the two organizations merged operations under the Nissan North America, Inc., name.