View Full Version : More electric car fun

04-07-12, 01:09 PM
More fun with electric cars.

In 2010, Nissan received a $1.4 billion loan to convert an existing Nissan factory in Tennessee to produce Nissan Leaf all electric vehicles and the batteries needed by them:


US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced (http://www.energy.gov/news/8581.htm) that the Department of Energy has closed a $1.4 billion loan agreement with Nissan North America, Inc. The loan will support the modification of Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn., manufacturing plant to produce the all-electric Nissan LEAF and the lithium-ion battery packs to power them.
Modification of the Smyrna manufacturing plant, which will begin later this year, includes a new battery plant and changes in the existing structure for electric-vehicle assembly. When fully operational, the vehicle assembly plant will have the capacity to build 150,000 Nissan LEAF electric cars per year, and the new plant will have an annual capacity of 200,000 battery packs.

Fast forward to 2011 and today:


On the account, Nissan sold close to 10,000 LEAFs in the US in 2011, nearly hitting its previously announced goal. On the other hand, General Motors came up a couple thousand units short of reaching its goal of selling 10,000 plug-in hybrid Volts in the US in 2011.


The Nissan Leaf had another tough month in March 2012, delivering just 579 vehicles last month. The good news is that this is an increase of 101 units over what was an absolutely abysmal February along with showing an increase of 94% over March 2011. The bad news is that things started slow for the Leaf in 2012 and they really haven’t gotten much better. Nissan has delivered just 1,733 Leaf electric vehicles through the first quarter of 2012 and while that does present an increase of 283% compared to Q1 of 2011 – the fact that Nissan had multiple months in 2011 where they delivered more Leaf units than they have through the first three months of 2012 is not a good sign.

So if 10,000 Leafs sell every year for the next 10 years, the $1.4 billion loan will work out to $14,000 per vehicle, or nearly 40% of the Nissan Leaf's MSRP.

Now throw in all the other piles of money spent like Ecotality's $230 million in government grants, and you're starting to talk real money here:


ECOtality North America received a $2.87 million grant from the city of San Francisco to establish charging stations throughout the U.S. The company is set to develop over 15,000 of their Blink charging stations in 16 cities throughout Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Tennessee and Texas – as well as the District of Columbia. To boot, owners of the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF (http://www.renewable-energy-news.info/nissan-leaf-test-drive-review/) who meet the criteria to participate in the EV Project (http://www.theevproject.com/) will be given a residential charger at little to no cost. Just last year, ECOtality North America was given $99.8 million in grant money from the DOE to launch the EV Project. An additional $15 million was awarded in June 2010, so this $2.87 million grant marks a total of approximately $230 million in funds toward the Project.