MURFREESBORO, TN – Nissan North America Inc. has donated two Nissan LEAF vehicles and three charging stations to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) to promote the use of electric-vehicle technology.
MTSU officials said the Nissan LEAF cars will be added to the University’s motor pool and the charging stations will be made available for use by students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the Murfreesboro campus.
"As Nissan and MTSU are two of the largest employers in Rutherford County, our future and success are, in many ways, intertwined," University President Sidney McPhee said. "This is a significant expansion in the relationship we have enjoyed with Nissan.
"It is another step in building a stronger partnership between our two organizations. We look forward to learning more about Nissan’s innovations in electric-vehicle technology by putting these vehicles to work for our University."
Nissan’s Rutherford County plant in Smyrna, one of its three production plants in the United States, opened in June 1983. The vehicle assembly plant has an annual production capacity of 550,000 vehicles and represents a capital investment of $2.5 billion.
Nissan will produce the LEAF in Smyrna by the end of 2012 and plans to open a new plant there this fall to produce lithium-ion batteries – the first facility of its kind in the U.S., according to the automaker.
Kevin Martin, director of Nissan Parts Quality Engineering, said the MTSU donation "builds on the long-standing relationship between Nissan and MTSU, and it points to our mutual passion for quality — both in engineering and in education."
"We hope that the innovation behind the Nissan LEAF inspires MTSU students interested in advanced technology," Martin said.
The automaker also donated a Titan pickup truck to the University, Martin said.