February 2, 2010

Department of Energy Investing in Electric Cars

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced that the Department of Energy has closed its $1.4 billion loan agreement with Nissan North America, Inc. to retool their Smyrna, Tennessee factory to build advanced electric automobiles and an advanced battery manufacturing facility. The two projects are expected to create up to 1,300 American jobs.

Nissan plans to use the proceeds from the loan to produce its all-electric vehicle, the LEAF, at its existing Smyrna, Tennessee plant. Nissan will offer electric vehicles to fleet and retail customers, and plans to ramp up production capacity in Smyrna up to 150,000 vehicles annually.

Today's announcement 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 Tesla's Model S electric sedan. 



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