SMYRNA, TENN. — The White House has announced $8 billion in conditional loan commitments is going to three automakers, including Nissan North America, for the development of innovative, advanced vehicle technologies aimed at creating thousands of green jobs while helping reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
Ford Motor Company received a loan commitment of $5.9 billion to transform factories across Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio to produce 13 more fuel-efficient models, and a commitment of $465 million was made to Tesla Motors to manufacture electric drive trains and electric vehicles in California.
Nissan will receive $1.6 billion to produce electric cars and battery packs at its manufacturing complex in Smyrna, Tenn. The loan will aid in the construction of a new battery plant and modifications to the existing assembly facility. Nissan aims to manufacture a cost-competitive all-electric car, overcoming a major obstacle to widespread adoption of pure electric vehicles. 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. Nissan anticipates the project may result in an increase of up to 1,300 jobs in Smyrna when full production is reached.
The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program is an open and competitive process. First appropriated in the fall of 2008, the program will provide about $25 billion in loans to companies making cars and components in U.S. factories that increase fuel economy at least 25 percent above 2005 fuel economy levels.