Nissan locates new auto battery plant in Portugal

Japanese auto maker Nissan Motor has begun construction on an advanced lithium-ion battery plant in Cacia, Portugal to power electric vehicles from the Renault-Nissan Alliance in Europe.

The battery plant is being built at the Renault CACIA gearbox assembly plant at an investment of 156 million euros. The facility will start operations in December 2012 and will have a total capacity of 50,000 units a year.

''The Cacia plant will be one of three facilities in Europe supplying batteries to electric vehicles produced by the Alliance, starting with the 100 per cent electric Nissan LEAF," said Nissan's Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga, speaking at the commencement of the construction of the new plant.

"Together, the three plants will enable the Alliance to rollout electric vehicles in Europe on an unprecedented scale, bringing the world one step closer to a zero emission future.''

Last April, Nissan began construction of a battery plant in Sunderland, in the UK, which will start operations in early 2012 with an annual capacity of 60,000 units. Renault's battery plant in Flins, France will have a total production capacity of 100,000 units a year.

Philippe Klein, Renault's executive vice-president of corporate planning, product planning and programs, said, ''The inauguration of the Cacia battery plant is another concrete step in the electric mobility revolution spearheaded by the Alliance.