Nissan to produce electric cars in the U.S.

Nissan announces plans to build electric cars in the U.S.     Photo Credit: Mark Renders / Getty Images News

Nissan announces plans to build electric cars in the U.S. Photo Credit: Mark Renders / Getty Images News

Nissan Motors plans to begin producing electric cars and their lithium ion batteries in the U.S.

Nissan North America’s headquarters in Smyrna, Tennessee will be the site of their new electric car assembly lines. The overall investment is projected at 50 billion yen ($516.4 million and could rise to 100 billion yen.

Capabile of making 50,000 to 100,000 eco-friendly vehicles a year by 2012, the Smyrna plant is expected to first produce a small passenger car. Nissan also intends to construct a production facility with NEC Corp for high-capacity lithium ion batteries at the Tennessee site.

The company has applied for a loan from the U.S. government under a low-interest-loan program to support the automobile industry.The Nikkei Business Daily reported Nissan will soon receive approval for a loan exceeding 100 billion yen. The company plans to assemble up to 50,000 electric cars a year in Japan starting in fall 2010.

Exciting news for green-minded drivers. Who’s going to jump on this bandwagon next?