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NISSAN celebrates Earth day with EV prototype; Announces partnership with OAK RIDGE National Laboratory


FRANKLIN, Tenn.- The Renault-Nissan Alliance today announced that Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the nation’s largest energy-research center, is partnering with Nissan in Tennessee to promote the development of zero-emission vehicles and a complementary charging infrastructure. This expands the scope of an existing partnership between Nissan and the State of Tennessee, which also includes the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Nissan will introduce zero-emission vehicles in the United States in 2010 and will mass market them globally two years later. Today’s announcement coincides with the Earth Day visit of Nissan’s EV Prototype vehicle to the Nissan Americas campus in Franklin, Tenn., as part of a coast-to-coast tour. Gov. Phil Bredesen was on hand to take the day’s first test drive of the prototype, which is powered by Nissan’s lithium-ion battery pack and zero-emission electric motor. While this vehicle does not represent the design of Nissan’s electric vehicle that will be sold in 2010, the EV Prototype is an indicator of what’s to come in zero-emission mobility.

“Nissan, through the Renault-Nissan Alliance, has committed to being a global leader in zero-emission vehicles,” said Dominique Thormann, senior vice president, administration and finance, Nissan North America. “Nissan in Tennessee is working with partners that share in the belief that the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles is one of the best solutions to reducing CO2 emissions. It’s only through collaborative efforts such as this that we can make zero-emission mobility a reality.”

Managed by UT-Battelle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the Department of Energy’s largest multi-purpose research lab, with a $400 million portfolio of energy-related projects.

Dana Christensen, ORNL’s Associate Lab Director for Energy, said the partnership “will combine the unique assets of Nissan, TVA and the Laboratory to pursue breakthrough technologies needed for an electric vehicle charging network.”

Bredesen, who recently proposed a solar research institute at ORNL and the University of Tennessee, marked the occasion by highlighting the combined potential of solar and electric vehicle technologies in Tennessee: “Given Tennessee’s growing interest in both solar energy and electric vehicles, it seems natural that these technologies could complement each other,” he said. “We can and should be exploring opportunities that highlight the Volunteer State’s leadership in both areas.”

The TVA, the nation’s largest public power supplier, is helping to lead the way in research into making the power system work as part of a future transportation infrastructure. “This is another step toward the common goal of reducing our nation’s carbon emissions,” said Ken Breeden, TVA’s executive vice president of customer resources. “When we work in partnership through efforts such as this, involving the state, Nissan North America, and local utilities, we’re helping generate economic and environmental benefits for the Tennessee Valley and for our nation.”

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has begun ZEV initiatives in Kanagawa Prefecture and Yokohama in Japan, as well as in Israel, Denmark, Portugal, Monaco, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Ireland and China. In the United States, the Alliance is exploring ways to promote zero-emission mobility and the development of an EV infrastructure in the State of Tennessee, the State of Oregon, Sonoma County and San Diego in California, and Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona.


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