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LaHood on Nissan Lithium-Ion: I'm so thrilled to see the progress Nissan is making

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood toured the construction site where Nissan is building an advanced lithium-ion battery plant yesterday. The facility, the largest in the country making lithium-ion batteries for automotive use, will fabricate battery packs for the Nissan LEAF, notably the world's first mass-market, all-electric vehicle.
Posted: May 18, 2011 - 7:14PM
Author: Don Bain

Construction of the battery plant is roughly 75 percent complete and is scheduled for completion by late summer. Nissan will then begin installing battery-manufacturing equipment in the plant making it ready to produce the lithium-ion batteries by late 2012. The plant will be able to produce 200,000 batteries a year.

"With gas prices at record highs, the Obama Administration has taken aggressive action to make sure families have access to fuel efficient vehicles that can help reduce their transportation costs," said Secretary LaHood. "That's why I'm so thrilled to see the progress Nissan is making at its new manufacturing facility, where American workers will soon be building cutting-edge batteries for a new generation of electric vehicles that are good for the environment, good for the economy, and good for American consumers."

"Nissan's advanced-technology battery plant is a strong symbol of our commitment to usher in a new era in transportation, a commitment we share with the Obama Administration," added William Krueger, senior vice president for Manufacturing, Purchasing, Supply Chain Management and Total Customer Satisfaction for Nissan Americas. "Secretary LaHood's visit emphasizes the key role this plant will play in the future of clean transportation for the United States."

The plant will cover 475,000 sq.-ft. and expects to provide the power source for 150,000 Nissan LEAFs per year. Nissan LEAF was recently named World Car of the Year b y a panel of automotive journalists from Asia, Europe and North America.