Nissan recently celebrated two years of Leaf EV sales. During the celebration, Nissan also announced that it would be opening a battery plant in the United States in Smyrna, Tennessee. The battery plant will be the largest lithium-Ion automotive battery plant in the United States.
The facility will manufacture battery components to be used during the ramp-up of production for the all-electric 2013 Nissan Leaf EV early next year. Nissan says that the new plant will only be the third of its kind in the entire world operated by a major automaker. I can’t help but wonder why Nissan is ramping up production of its Leaf when sales of the vehicle have been less than stellar.
Nissan says that since December of 2010 it sold over 18,000 Leaf EV’s to customers in the United States. Nissan also brags that it has sold 46,000 of the fully electric vehicles around the world. While Nissan has struggled to meet its sales goals in the United States, the company claims that the Leaf is the most successful completely electric vehicle in history.
Nissan says that the first batteries produced at the plant have completed the required aging process and are now ready to be charged for the first time. The battery factory is capable of producing up to 200,000 batteries annually depending on the market demand for the vehicle. Nissan says that the batteries produced at the plant can also be used for future vehicles added to its electric vehicle portfolio. Nissan says that the battery plant could add up to 1000 additional jobs depending on demand.