Nissan Officially Launches Battery Plant In Tennessee (Video)

5 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 9

Largest Lithium-Ion Automotive Battery Plant In The U.S

Despite already being in production (the plant officially launched Friday, Nov. 16, 2012), and after an opening ceremony that had to be cancelled due to dignitaries unavailability, Nissan today publicly launched their $1.7 billion battery plant, which is adjacent to the Smryna, TN facility that builds the 2013 Nissan LEAF.

“Opening this U.S. plant is an important milestone in Nissan’s overarching strategy to foster sustainable mobility around the world,” said Carlos Ghosn, president and chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co.

"You There, Put On Those Brand New Gloves And Shirt And Pretend To Ratchet That Cover Down For This Photo"

In a corporately produced video (below) Nissan takes us through the plant, what went into building it and training the staff.  Mostly.

The company also states that much of the plant can not be shown, otherwise they would be giving a free look to the competition at the future of battery technology.

Over the summer, we suggested that the upcoming Infiniti LE, an all-electric luxury sedan, with 2nd generational battery technology would be built in the US; and part of the “no access” at the battery plant today likely has something to do with this vehicle.

The first batteries produced at the plant have completed the required aging process and are now ready to receive their first charge. The facility is capable of expanding to produce modules for up to 200,000 batteries annually, depending on market demand.


The Nissan LEAF is manufactured on the same line as Altima and Maxima so volume can readily be adjusted among the vehicles to meet demand.

The 2013 model-year Nissan LEAF will receive a number of technological advancements and feature changes that have yet to be announced by Nissan USA, but the majority of which can be found on the newly released Japanese-spec 2013 LEAF.

“Nissan is the zero-emissions vehicle leader, and we are making significant strides as one of the largest producers of electric vehicles and batteries in the United States. The opening of this facility in Tennessee supports our goal of making zero-emissions mobility a reality through American jobs and American manufacturing.”

To date, Nissan has sold over 46,000 LEAFs.

Seperately, and in a more interesting video presentation released yesterday, Nissan had some US owners take a tour of their Japanese LEAF production facility in Oppama, Japan.

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9 responses to "Nissan Officially Launches Battery Plant In Tennessee (Video)"

  1. David Murray says:

    I’ve wondered why they are making batteries if they aren’t already making cars that use them. I wonder if this “aging” process is part of the reason.. Maybe the batteries aren’t ready for use as quickly as they are made.

    1. Schmeltz says:

      Yeah I’m puzzled too about this “aging” process involving battery production. Apparently making Lithium Ion batteries is much like making fine wine. Who knew?

      1. kdawg says:

        Or a sharp cheese 🙂

  2. BlindGuy says:

    Making the batteries and building the Leaf in TN. Is brilliant! I like more AER, using a heat pump for heat & AC, heated seats for everyone and a lower price. I think if Nissan continues improving the Leaf, especially more range for less money they will be successful, unless quality starts to suffer JMO.

  3. backstroke says:

    Heh, this is all smoke and mirrors, nothing real here, Stuart22 told us so. Play x-files theme.

  4. Future Leaf Driver says:

    Alright Nissan! Let’s get these built quick – I want a 2013 model by next March.

    Looking forward to all the new advances in 2013 model including the leather interior!

  5. Tennessean says:

    The reason the “dignitaries” were unavailable is because the governor of Tennessee is a “big oil” man. He literally founded the Pilot Corporation. Tennessee’s ushering in of EV business was a result of the previous administration’s vision. You can imagine that the current administration is much less enthused about all this and would rather kill it all. In fact, none of this information about the new plant has been in the local news at all. This, I can say with confidence, will not last long in good-ole Tennessee…

  6. MrEnergyCzar says:

    Looks like they are going to gamble and not make the batteries liquid cooled… the downside risk becomes huge once sales ramp up…

    MrEnergyCzar

  7. Tim Drager says:

    Love my Leaf. Got 160 MPGe recently!

    Don’t like to drive ICE cars anymore. Go Nissan go!