Nissan North America wants federal money to help it build more fuel efficient cars. The Franklin-based automaker has applied for part of a $25 billion low-interest loan package that Congress passed earlier this year through its energy bill.
Right now, Nissan only makes one hybrid for the U.S. and it uses Toyota technology — a 244 volt nickel metal hydride battery back. The Altima hybrid is built in Smyrna and sold in just a handful of states.
Murfreesboro Democrat Bart Gordon says the money from Congress would be used by Nissan to produce its own batteries.
“Nissan is in the process of trying to get some federal research dollars that will allow it to bring its entire battery research and production to Smyrna.”
At the dedication of Nissan’s new headquarters this year, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said he wants to build a pure, electric car with zero emissions.
Nissan plans to introduce an electric car in the US and Japan in 2010, but full-scale production would wait at least until 2012.