Nissan will begin production of electric motors for the all-electric Leaf at its Decherd, Tenn., manufacturing facility starting in early 2013. With the help of loans from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program, the new assembly line will create up to 90 new jobs. Once complete, the Decherd factory will have the ability to produce 150,000 Leaf motors annually.
“Nissan’s Tennessee operations are paving the way to a zero-emission future for everyone,” said Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas. “By delivering motors for the first mass-produced electric vehicles manufactured in the United States, our Decherd plant will play a vital role in making zero-emission mobility a reality for American consumers.”
The Leaf’s electric motors are the fifth assembly line at the southern Tennessee facility, which opened its doors in 1997. The new assembly line will take up 100,000 sq.-ft. of open floor space, featuring state-of-the-art machinery to aid production. The 1.2 million sq.-ft. factory currently turns out engines and components for Nissans that roam North American roads, and has the ability to produce 950,000 engines annually.
The Decherd factory will support the production of the U.S.-built Nissan Leaf, scheduled to begin production in Smyrna, Ga., in late 2012. With the car, battery and electric motor all built in the U.S., electric car enthusiasts can hope that Leaf prices could come down once the U.S. facilities are online.