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Nissan opens largest EV battery plant in United States

Positioned adjacent to the carmaker’s existing factory, which has just been re-tooled to manufacture North American market Nissan LEAFs, the plant is aimed at meeting the demands of a scheduled ramp-up in production for the electric vehicle next year. At full capacity, it will be able to build 200,000 batteries per year, catering for production of other electric models in future.

To date, all Nissan LEAFs have been built in Japan. As part of a mid-life upgrade in 2013, production will be localised to the markets where the vehicle is sold, including building European cars at the plant in Sunderland, UK.

Smyrna, which builds the Altima and Maxima, has added LEAF production to the same line in the factory allowing Nissan to vary output depending on demand.

The battery plant is supported by a loan issued as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, designed to accelerate the development of vehicles and technologies which allow the United States to increase its energy independence, create cleaner transportation and stimulate its economy.

By 2015, Nissan is aiming to build 85% of all vehicles sold in the United States in North America.

Alex Grant

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