CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Nissan's new all-electric car to be sold starting late next year will have 100 miles of pure battery range, a Nissan North America planning director said.
Product planning and strategy director Mark Perry also told the Chattanooga Engineers Club that the company wants to eventually make the car that will run on a lithium ion battery pack and the batteries at its plant in Smyrna. The car will initially be made in Japan.
Perry told the engineers' group Monday that Tennessee is to be a launch market for the all-electric car after it arrives in late 2010, along with Oregon and Sonoma County, Calif.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that Perry said the car will "seat five and be in the size range of a Sentra or Versa."
Nissan's North America headquarters is in Franklin.
Perry said the 100 miles of pure battery range is more than double the battery range of some competitors' electric cars.
Perry said that while the cost of a conventional vehicle of similar size may range from $28,000 to $30,000, the federal government is offering a tax credit of up to $7,500 on the electric car. He said annual maintenance costs will be about $1,350 less for a pure electric vehicle than a conventional car.
"The payback is immediate," Perry said. He estimated the cost to "fill the tank" in the Chattanooga area at about 90 cents, and said it will take about four to eight hours to do so at a residence.
Perry said plans are to reduce that time frame to four hours in 2012.
Nissan NA spokesman Fred Standish previously said the company submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Energy for a share of the government's $25 billion loan program intended to help automakers retool their plants to build more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Standish said the Smyrna plant, built in 1983, is the only one of Nissan's three plants in the U.S. that would meet the loan's criteria.
The Energy Department has received dozens of applications for the loan program, including requests from Detroit's automakers, Tesla Motors Inc., which builds an all-electric two-seat sports car, and several battery manufacturers.