Nissan uses $1.4 billion government loan to build “struggling” electric car in Tennessee
Given the past performance of Barack Obama’s “green energy” bankruptcies… er, excuse me, “investments”… there’s every reason to be optimistic about this one, reported by Detroit News:
Nissan Motor Co. said it will begin U.S. production of its all-electric Leaf on Thursday in Tennessee as part of a $1.4 billion government loan.
The Japanese automaker won an Energy Department loan in 2010 to build a battery plant in Smyrna, Tenn., and to retool to build the Leaf at its assembly plant next door.
The Leaf will be built alongside the company’s gasoline-powered products.
Nissan says it is the only automaker that manufactures its own electric vehicle batteries, at the biggest lithium-ion automotive battery plant in the United States.
It’s good that they make their own batteries, because outsourcing that vital component has led to some of the more spectacular Obama “investment” failures. Although the current generation of Leaf batteries proved unreliable, especially in warm climates. All sorts of battery warranties and replacement deals are being offered, for those whose batteries don’t meet the strict performance minimum of… 70 percent capacity. It’s a pity there isn’t a more reliable technology that would give us less expensive, more appealing vehicles that dependably run for days, in all kinds of weather conditions, after being filled with some sort of widely-available fluid.
Say, how’s that electric car market coming along overall?
The Leaf’s sales have struggled and the automaker failed to double sales in 2012 as it had predicted and instead sold about the same number as in 2011.
Last year, Nissan sold 9,819 Leaf EVs in the United States — up 1.5 percent over 2011.
The Leaf is not the only struggling electric vehicle. Ford Motor Co. sold just 685 Focus EVs in 2012 — its first full year of sales — even though it has built 1,627, according to a report from Ford last week.
And yet, electric car makers keep making hilariously overblown predictions of market success, which always looms just around the taxpayer-subsidized corner. The notorious Chevy Volt actually sold better than the Leaf last year… but still moved only half the predicted number of units, while losing money on every sale.
Conjuring markets into existence, for products nobody wants to buy at a fair market price, certainly is expensive! Fortunately, taxes can always be raised on productive citizens and businesses to finance further endeavors.