Electric Motors: Nissan Builds Capacity

If you think about it, there aren’t a heck of a lot of products that use high-response 80-kW AC synchronous motors that can generate 107 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.

If you think about it, there aren’t a heck of a lot of products that use high-response 80-kW AC synchronous motors that can generate 107 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. One of the few things that we can think of that has a bigger motor is a machine tool that eats through titanium like a teenager eats through lunch (e.g., the Makino T4, that uses twin inverter drive technology that allows it to put out 133 hp continuous and 200 hp peak and 740 or 1,100 lb-ft, in case you’re wondering. It should be noted, however, that this is no diminutive machine: the pallet that the workpiece is placed on could nearly accommodate a Nissan Micra: the pallet is 157.7 x 59.1-in.; the Micra is 148.8-in. long and 65.6-in. wide ).

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Makino T4

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Nissan Micra

The point is, as the electric vehicle (EV) industry grows, there will be a growing need for electric motors like the aforementioned 80-kW AC synchronous motor that can generate 107 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. The motor used in the Nissan LEAF.

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LEAF motor module

Yesterday Nissan announced that in 2013 it will start producing motors for the LEAF in its plant in Decherd, Tennessee. The LEAF and the lithium-ion batteries it uses is to go into production in the company’s Smyrna, Tennessee, plant late next year.

In Decherd they presently build engines and components for the company’s products. There is the capacity to produce 950,000 engines, 1.1-million crankshaft forgings, and 192,000 cylinder block castings annually.

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Nissan LEAF

And when all the preparations are made, the equipment bought and installed, the people hired and trained (they’re thinking on the order of 90 new jobs), the Nissan plant in Decherd will be able to produce 150,000 electric motors each year.