Nissan recently began operations of its new advanced-battery plant in Tennessee that will supply the energy-storage devices for the Nissan Leafs to be produced at an adjoining vehicle-assembly plant. Regular North American production of the Leaf is to start at the automaker's Smyrna plant early in 2013. To date, the Leaf and its lithium-ion battery pack currently are made in Japan only. The first batteries produced in Smyrna for the 2013 Leaf have completed the required aging process and are ready to receive their first charge, the company said in a recent announcement. The plant is fully integrated, with raw battery cell materials coming in one end and finished battery packs going out the other (see accompanying image). Nissan has not yet released specifications for the 2013 Leaf and its battery pack. The Leaf will be assembled alongside the Nissan Altima and Maxima.
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