Nissan has begun limited production of its Leaf electric car at its manufacturing complex in Smyrna, Tenn., and it is now using lithium-ion battery packs also made at the facility to power the cars coming off the assembly line.
Production of the cars in Smyrna began in September, using batteries imported from Japan. The lithium-ion batteries began coming off the line in October at the new $1 billion battery plant, which is adjacent to the vehicle-assembly facility.
About 300 workers have been hired so far to staff the battery and vehicle assembly lines at the Smyrna complex. An additional 1,000 new employees might be added as production cranks up, Nissan said. The Leaf is made on the same assembly line as the Nissan Altima sedan and coupe and the Maxima sedan.