Nissan Quietly Opens Smyrna Battery Plant

A web video from Nissan shows an aerial view of the battery plant in Smyrna. It sits adjacent to the existing assembly plant, which will soon build the all-electric Leaf.

A web video from Nissan shows an aerial view of the battery plant in Smyrna. It sits adjacent to the existing assembly plant, which will soon build the all-electric Leaf.

Nissan says the first electric car batteries produced at its plant in Smyrna are ready to be charged up. The Franklin-based automaker announced the official opening of its new plant in Smyrna Wednesday with little fanfare.

Nissan called off a grand opening ceremony last month. Instead, this week the automaker opted to send out a press release along with a company-made video.

Engineer Darrell Scott says the plant feels more like a lab than a factory.

“It kind of makes you feel like that, that you’re just in a top secret environment.”

A Nissan spokesperson says the company won’t show too much of the facility for competitive reasons. Most of the construction and start up cost is being funded by a $1.4 billion loan from the Department of Energy.

So far, the new battery plant has resulted in the addition of 300 jobs, according to Nissan, which claims as many as a thousand more jobs could come online if demand for the all-electric picks up. In two years, just 18,000 vehicles have been sold in the U.S.


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