Nissan: U.S. battery output to cost over $1 billion

TOKYO Wed Jul 8, 2009 5:57am EDT

Andy Palmer, Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor Co, speaks at the Reuters Japan Investment Summit in Tokyo July 8, 2009. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Andy Palmer, Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor Co, speaks at the Reuters Japan Investment Summit in Tokyo July 8, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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TOKYO (Reuters) - A senior executive at Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) said investments to produce batteries at its U.S. car plant site in Tennessee would exceed $1 billion, accounting for the bulk of the government loans it was granted last month.

Andy Palmer, senior vice president and head of product planning at Nissan, said at the Reuters Japan Investment Summit on Wednesday that the Smyrna, Tennessee, site would house three "modules," equivalent to production of 54,000 battery units, with each module costing $350 million.

Japan's No.3 automaker will get $1.6 billion in subsidized loans from the U.S. government to build a battery assembly facility and retool an existing line to build a new electric car at the Smyrna site starting in 2012. It aims to build up to 150,000 electric vehicles there a year.

Nissan has also announced plans to build batteries in Japan and is negotiating with several governments on a site in Europe.

(For blogs from the Reuters Investment Summit, click on:

blogs.reuters.com/summits/ )

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim)

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