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Nissan North America, Inc. has begun installation of 30 solar-assisted charging stations at the Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant and the Nissan Americas headquarters in Franklin, Tenn. The 30 chargers at the two Tennessee facilities mark the latest in a long line of dedicated investments totaling $3.5 billion over the course of Nissan’s statewide, 30-year presence.

The advanced solar chargers, which will be operational for use by Nissan employees and visitors by July 1, are designed to charge the Nissan LEAF, the world’s first affordable, all-electric zero-emission vehicle designed for the mass market. The Nissan LEAF debuted globally in December 2010, with Tennessee as a key launch market. Nissan soon will build the Nissan LEAF and the batteries that power it at its Smyrna manufacturing complex. The advanced, lithium-ion battery plant is 75-percent complete with an expected operational date of late next year.

“Tennessee is Nissan’s home in the Americas region,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman, Nissan Americas. “These solar-assisted charging stations demonstrate our dedication to a zero-emissions society, and our dedication to bringing innovation to our home in Tennessee. Nissan in the coming year will expand our manufacturing presence, enhance our philanthropic efforts and make new additions to our headquarters operations, all in Tennessee.”

The charging stations illustrate the ability to reduce the impact to the electrical grid through the use of solar power and energy storage. They employ the same lithium-ion battery cells that also power the Nissan LEAF, an innovation that allows Nissan to study the battery’s storage capacity as well as demonstrate the second-life use for lithium-ion batteries beyond their use in automotive applications.

Nissan is working with the U.S. Dept. of Energy, which is funding the stations through a matching grant, as well as Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Tennessee Valley Authority, with which Nissan will share usage and technical data from the solar chargers for further study.

Quelle: Nissan

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