04.07.2010 - by Plug In America
Inspired by Battery Manufacturing in the US

Plug In America’s team is in Tennessee for a few days! We were Invited by Nissan to have some face time with the entire Leaf team and see where the cars and batteries will be produced here in America’s heartland. We’re in Franklin… just 1/2 hour outside of Nashville with its lovely rolling hills and characteristic old barns of yesteryear’s agriculture economy. I wasn’t prepared for a high of 87 degrees!

There’s much abuzz about the Leaf – yet at the moment the nation is riveted about getting miners out of the collapsed mine in West Virginia. Their agonizing wait is in stark contrast to our anticipation for the release of the country’s first mainstream battery electric vehicle (BEV), due out late this year.

Several of the Nissan executives with whom we had dinner last night have such interesting accents. We met a Brit, a German and a gentleman from Portugal who has a perfect French accent. Given my past life in DC and a degree in Int’l Relations, I enjoy the global perspectives that Nissan offers. Out of the approximately 50,000 Leaf vehicles to be launched, about half will reportedly be distributed in the U.S. and the other half in Europe. Plug In America plans to learn from Nissan about the differences between US and European consumer perceptions and policy support.

While here, we will be visiting the location where the battery plant will be sited, next to the Leaf assembly plant. This means more jobs in Tennessee. Who says that China will be having a lock hold on EV battery manufacturing? It makes tremendous sense to manufacture locally instead of shipping heavy cargo loads of batteries across the world. Think carbon savings, onshore jobs and cleantech manufacturing.

We’ll be blogging more on Plug In America’s visit, so stay tuned!

~Jeanne Trombly

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