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Nissan ups ante for electric vehicles

A Nissan LEAF is on display at one of the company's new electric charging stations. Photo by Ed Marcum/Knoxville News Sentinel

Nashville's daily newspaper, The Tennessean reports today that Nissan is revving up its investment in building electric cars, which analysts consider a gamble as consumers have been slow to embrace them.

The company's total investment in Tennessee will be about $1.7 billion to build a lithium-ion battery plant in Smyrna, Tenn. and convert part of the Smyrna facility to make the all- electric Leaf compact hatchback, which goes on sale in December.

Nissan and its European partner, Renault, have pledged more than $5 billion for a worldwide rollout.

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