Nissan has shipped the first of its Leaf electric vehicle components, made in the Nissan Casting Australia Plant (NCAP) in Dandenong, to Japan.
Nissan's Melbourne casting plant was awarded exclusive global manufacturing contracts to develop $160 million of aluminium components for the auto-maker’s Zero Emission LEAF electric car in April last year.
The aluminium components include the inverter case, inverter water jacket and water jacket cover for electric vehicles such as the Nissan LEAF.
The Dandenong Casting Plant was awarded the contracts from its parent-company in Japan for distribution around the world.
“Everyone at Nissan Australia is excited that we are playing such a tangible role in the production of zero emission electric vehicles,” said Nissan Australia CEO, William F Peffer Jr.
“To see ‘Job Number One’ for the electric vehicle parts production finished and exported is a landmark moment for the Nissan Casting Plant.
“These electric vehicle parts are part of more than two million components and accessories made at the Nissan Casting Plant each year, contributing to the overall growth of success of Nissan both in Australia and globally.”
Nissan announced last April that the new component contracts would secure 145 jobs at the casting plant in Dandenong.
The three parts manufacturing contracts were signed by Nissan with the help of the Federal Green Car Innovation Fund and funding from the Victorian Government’s Business Assistance Grant.
The contracts involved producing a range of aluminium components for Nissan’s LEAF electric car on sale in Japan, UK, US, and Australia – the latter of which went on-sale earlier this year.
Nissan claims the LEAF is the world’s first zero emission, five-door family hatch. It is currently assembled in Japan, but will also be assembled in the USA and UK by 2013.
The components reportedly use new casting technologies developed in Victoria, in consultation with Nissan, by the CSIRO and CAST CRC.
Nissan expects to progressively invest a total of $21 million in its sustainable, zero emission technology manufacturing operation to support its Dandenong plant.