Last month Nissan received $1.6 billion in subsidized loans from the U.S. Department of Energy to prepare their plant in Smyrna, Tennessee for the production of electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries.
At the Reuters Japan Investment Summit on Wednesday, senior vice president and head of product planning, Andy Palmer, said that the Tennessee facility would accommodate three production modules capable of producing 54,000 batteries. Each module is expected to cost $350 million, accounting for over $1 billion of the DOE loans.
The remainder of the money will be used to retool an existing assembly line for the planned production of a dedicated electric car by 2012. Nissan hopes to achieve a capacity of 150,000 EVs per year at the Smyrna plant. The Japanese automaker has already announced plans to build batteries in their home country and they're currently seeking another location in Europe.
Let's hope demand for zero-emissions vehicles outpaces Nissan's ability to make them.