If what Nissan’s Carlos Tavares says is true, the Japanese automaker will need “additional (battery) capacity” to supply its electric vehicles.
Nissan is investing $2 billion in its Smyrna, Tennessee, plant to expand it for further production. The plant will manufacture the Leaf and the lithium ion batteries to power it. Planed production for the facility is 150,000 Leaf hatchbacks and 200,000 batteries per year. The extra battery production would not only supply the Leaf but also provide electricity storage for up totwo other electric vehicles the company has in the works (possibly the Land Glider concept heading for Tokyo next week). If the three electric vehicles the company has planned are successful, Nissan will convert existing models to electric operation. If all of these plans do go forward, the automaker would fall severely short of its needs and be forced to facilitate further battery production.
Nissan is working to implement charging stations throughout the country, seen as a major flaw in electric vehicles. The Japanese automaker has already struck deals with several U.S. cities to provide the recharging stations. Private companies like Better Place are also working to electrify cities.
The Leaf is due to hit dealerships around this time next year. Initially the Leaf will be imported from Japan, but production will be shifted to the Smyrna plant once all updates have been completed. Presales begin next spring and are expected to reach 20,000 units.
Source: Automotive News