Nissan to make electric cars in U.S.: report

Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:20pm EDT

The wheel of a Nissan Motor Co car is pictured at a showroom in Tokyo May 12, 2009. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The wheel of a Nissan Motor Co car is pictured at a showroom in Tokyo May 12, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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(Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co plans to launch production of electric vehicles and their batteries in the United States to tap low-interest loans for green vehicles, the Nikkei business daily said.

The overall investment is estimated at 50 billion yen ($516.4 million) and may rise to 100 billion yen, it said.

Under the plan, the new electric-car assembly lines are to be built at a plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, where Nissan North America Inc is based, the paper said.

The facility, capable of making 50,000 to 100,000 eco-friendly vehicles a year by 2012, is expected to first produce a small passenger car, it said.

Nissan also intends to construct a production facility for high-capacity lithium ion batteries at the Smyrna site with NEC Corp.

The company has applied for funding from the U.S. government under a low-interest-loan program to support the automobile industry.

Nissan will soon receive approval for a loan of more than 100 billion yen, the paper said, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Nissan intends to assemble up to 50,000 electric cars a year in Japan starting in fall 2010, the paper said.

($1=96.83 Yen)

(Reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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