Nissan last week announced that plans to produce electric vehicle (EV) batteries at a plant in Portugal have been put on hold, according to Reuters.
Currently, Nissan LEAF batteries are produced in Oppama, Japan. Plans include additional battery production in Smyrna, Tennessee in 2012, Sunderland, United Kingdom and Flins, France. These four plants will have the capacity to produce 450,000 batteries each year. The Portuguese plant would have added an additional 50,000 per year capacity. With all of the challenges that Nissan has faced in producing not only LEAFs, but conventional vehicles in Japan this year with the impact of the natural disasters that they’ve faced, vehicle production will likely be less than originally predicted. Also, perhaps Nissan is holding off on the continued development of the plant due to the current economic climate. Alternative plans for the building are being explored.
This could also be seen as a statement by Nissan that current LEAF production projections might be on the high side, at least in the next few years.