The Nissan Leaf has generated a lot of interesting press, especially with the partnership between Nissan and ECOtality’s eTec (more here). In case you missed our earlier reports, eTec has signed a $100 Million Transportation Electrification Project with the Department of Energy. The project is said to be the largest deployment of electric vehicles and charging stations in history. Now that maybe rivaled any day now and we have had recent claims from Mitsubishi with their deployment of 50 fleet vehicles, so soon it will be hard to keep up with who is top dog.

Nissan LEAF Charging Port

Nissan LEAF Charging Port

That aside, Nissan is making waves in the EV community and as a sign of what could only be called success, they have obtained $1.4 Billion in funding from the Department of Energy for the 2011 Nissan Leaf. You may be asking yourself how a foreign company could get such funding from the U.S. government. The answer lies in the concessions Nissan is willing to make in order to obtain the funding. According to our partners over at TheCarConnection.com, Nissan will build the Leaf at its plan in Smyrna, Tennessee and in the future also start building lithium-ion batteries there as well. Bring the production of the Leaf to the U.S. has the potential to create somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300 American jobs.

Bottom line—1300 jobs is nothing to turn your back on and with an annual production estimated at up to 150,000 units, there is sure to be a lot of activity in Smyrna in the future.

 

Be sure to check out more details over at TheCarConnection.com and check out their 2011 Nissan Leaf Preview.