U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood toured the construction site where Nissan is building a state-of-the-art facility to manufacture advanced lithium-ion batteries. The plant, which will be the largest in the country capable of manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications, will produce the battery packs powering the Nissan LEAF, the world’s first affordable, mass-market, all-electric vehicle.
Construction of Nissan’s advanced lithium-ion battery plant is approximately 75 percent complete and scheduled to be finished by late summer. Nissan then will start installing the battery manufacturing equipment inside the plant and will be capable of producing lithium-ion batteries beginning in late 2012. The plant will have the capacity to produce 200,000 batteries annually.
“With gas prices at record highs, the Obama Administration has taken aggressive action to make sure families have access to fuel efficient vehicles that can help reduce their transportation costs,” said Secretary LaHood. “That’s why I’m so thrilled to see the progress Nissan is making at its new manufacturing facility, where American workers will soon be building cutting-edge batteries for a new generation of electric vehicles that are good for the environment, good for the economy, and good for American consumers.”
“Nissan’s advanced-technology battery plant is a strong symbol of our commitment to usher in a new era in transportation, a commitment we share with the Obama Administration,” said William Krueger, senior vice president, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Supply Chain Management and Total Customer Satisfaction for Nissan Americas. “Secretary LaHood’s visit emphasizes the key role this plant will play in the future of clean transportation for the United States.”
The 475,000 sq.-ft. battery facility will be a U.S. manufacturing center of excellence for clean transportation solutions, providing the power source for 150,000 all-electric Nissan LEAFs annually. Nissan LEAF is the world’s first and only affordable, all-electric vehicle designed for the mass market and was recently named “World Car of the Year” by a panel of automotive journalists from Asia, Europe and North America.