U.S. production of the 2013 Nissan Leaf moved one step closer to reality earlier this week, when Nissan started eMotor production trials at its factility in Decherd, Tennessee.
Located about 70 miles from Smyrna, where Nissan will start official U.S. production of the 2013 Leaf electric car, the motor production line--and its staff--are going through final production test runs before the plant commences official motor manufacturing later this year.
Currently made in Japan, the Leaf’s electric motor contains around one mile of copper wiring, and takes Nissan longer to assemble than a conventional gasoline engine.
In part, that’s because correctly building an electric motor is a complicated process.
“The winding takes place on a very complex piece of equipment,” said Adam Reed, Nissan’s globally certified trainer for eMotor production. “It has two parts at a time traversing inside the equipment going in different directions. So it’s very hard to keep up with sometimes.”
Three Nissan Leafs
Three Nissan LeafsEnlarge Photo
Nissan says it takes around 25 shift workers in total to ensure an electric motor is made correctly from its raw materials to finished product.
Although Nissan has yet to detail final specifications or production schedules for the 2013 Nissan Leaf, recent spy shots suggest Nissan is working on a new, less-expensive entry model of its electric car for release early next year.