Nissan Motor Co.’s CEO, Makoto Uchida, recently acknowledged that the market for electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States is growing faster than anticipated. To support this trend, the company plans to invest $250 million in its powertrain facility in Decherd, Tennessee. Although Uchida did not provide a timeline or specifics on how the investment will be used, he stated that it is part of Nissan’s increased efforts to promote EV adoption in the United States.
Uchida attributes the growing popularity of EVs to increased competition and the availability of more electric cars on the market. He also highlighted the role of government regulations and incentives in creating a favorable environment for EV adoption, specifically citing tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act.
The planned investment in Decherd is part of Nissan’s efforts to establish a US-based EV production hub. The facility currently produces approximately 1.4 million engines annually, as well as the electric motors used for the Nissan Leaf, the company’s popular electric hatchback. Expectations are high that the new investment will expand the Tennessee plant’s electric motor output.
However, Nissan’s current EV output leaves room for improvement. In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, only 1.4% of Nissan’s volumes in North America came from battery-electric cars. The company only has two EVs for the US market, the Nissan Leaf and the Ariya. While the Leaf has long been a mainstay in the EV market with sales of 12,025 units in 2022, the Ariya only saw 201 units sold by the end of the year.