Smyrna Leaf Plant Breaks Ground

Japanese manufacturer Nissan announced yesterday it has broke ground of the new manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. When ready, the plant will produce lithium-ion batteries for the Nissan Leaf, with the production of the vehicle itself scheduled to begin in 2012.

"Nissan is committed to affordable, sustainable mobility. What we're doing here will radically transform the automotive experience for consumers. Today is a major step in helping create a green economy in the United States," Carlos Ghosn Nissan CEO said in a statement.

"Production of Nissan LEAF and lithium-ion batteries in Smyrna brings the United States closer to its goal of energy independence, creates green jobs and helps sustain American manufacturing. Nissan is a leader in global manufacturing innovation, and this state-of-the-art battery plant will strengthen that leadership."

The Smyrna facility, to be built with the help of the $25 billion program authorized by Congress as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will be one of the largest auto manufacturing sites in North America, covering 1.3 million square feet.

The extra 1,300 people which will be hired for future needs will be in charge of producing 200,000 batteries each year. When the Leaf enters production, 150,000 EVs will roll off the assembly lines.

"Tennessee has become a national leader in driving clean energy innovation, and Nissan's commitment to build this advanced-technology battery facility here in Tennessee is a key part of that success," added Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen.

"Nissan's investment in Tennessee began more than two decades ago, and this new manufacturing plant leads the way to the next generation of automotive and clean energy jobs in the Volunteer state."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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