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Old 01-28-2010, 07:51 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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Default Nissan approved for $1.4B DOE loan

...to build the Nissan LEAF and it's batteries in the US.

From Green Car Congress
DOE Closes $1.4B Loan Agreement with Nissan to Support Production of LEAF and Batteries
28 January 2010

US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced that the Department of Energy has closed a $1.4 billion loan agreement with Nissan North America, Inc. The loan will support the modification of Nissanís Smyrna, Tenn., manufacturing plant to produce the all-electric Nissan LEAF and the lithium-ion battery packs to power them.

Modification of the Smyrna manufacturing plant, which will begin later this year, includes a new battery plant and changes in the existing structure for electric-vehicle assembly. When fully operational, the vehicle assembly plant will have the capacity to build 150,000 Nissan LEAF electric cars per year, and the new plant will have an annual capacity of 200,000 battery packs.

The loan, which originated through the Departmentís loan guarantee program office, was issued as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program, a $25-billion program authorized by Congress as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. (Earlier post.)

Nissan is also laying the groundwork in developing an infrastructure in the US to support electric vehicles. Nissan has formed more than a dozen partnerships in the United States, in markets including State of Tennessee, the State of Oregon, Sonoma County and San Diego in California, Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., Washington DC, Seattle, Raleigh, N.C., and with Houston-based Reliant Energy.

This marks the third loan arrangement agreement signed by DOE with an advanced technology vehicle manufacturer. In September 2009, DOE signed its first loan agreement for $5.9 billion to Ford Motor Company. Last week, DOE also signed a $465-million loan agreement with Tesla Motors, which will be used to build manufacturing facilities in California for electric power-trains and Teslaís Model S electric sedan. (Earlier post.)

The DOE has also signed a conditional commitment with Fisker Automotive to build plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Tenneco, Inc. became the first advanced technology component manufacturer to obtain a conditional commitment from DOE in October of last year. (Earlier post.)

Nissan, along with its Alliance partner, Renault, is so far the only major automaker committed to mass marketing all-electric vehicles on a global scale. Nissan LEAF, a five-passenger sedan, will be available for private and fleet customers. It is being launched in the US, Japan and Europe in December 2010.
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