Tokyo: Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. plans to start producing electric vehicles in the United States, a newspaper reported on Saturday.
It would be the first time that a Japanese automaker mass-produced electric vehicles overseas, the Nikkei business daily said.
The company is seeking low-interest loans from the US government to develop green vehicles and plans to invest 50 billion yen ($518 million), which could rise to more than 100 billion yen depending on demand, the daily said.
Under the plan, Nissan will build electric-car assembly lines at a plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, the location of Nissan North America Inc.’s headquarters, the newspaper said.
This facility will be capable of churning out 50,000 to 100,000 of the eco-friendly vehicles a year by 2012, it said.
Nissan also intends to construct a production facility for high-capacity lithium ion batteries at the Smyrna site by linking up with Japanese computer giant NEC Corp.
In Japan, Nissan plans to assemble up to 50,000 electric cars a year starting in 2010, with some of these vehicles to be exported to the United States, the report said.
It also plans to mass-produce electric cars in Europe and possibly in China, hoping to raise its production to 200,000 units a year by 2012.