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By Samuel R. Avro on Feb 10, 2009 with no responses

Ailing Nissan Seeks U.S. Loans to Build Electric Cars

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Nissan’s first electric car in the U.S. will go on sale in 2010 and is expected to be based on the Denki Cube EV concept.

Nissan Motor Co. announced that it would be seeking financing from the U.S. government in order to manufacture electric cars and batteries in order to power them.

The Japanese carmaker also said that it is forecasting a significant loss during the year and that it plans on eliminating 20,000 jobs in an attempt to compensate.

The loan request was made public by the ailing auto manufacturer on Monday, but no amount was disclosed, though it made the request in December of last year.

“We are committed to the vision of energy independence, environmental sustainability, and the new energy economy, and we are hopeful that the U.S. Department of Energy approves this loan request,” the company said in a statement.

Nissan hopes to deliver electric cars to the U.S. market by next year.

Nissan said it now expected a net loss of ¥265 billion, or $2.9 billion, for the business year ending March 31. It had previously projected a ¥160 billion profit for the year.

“In every planning scenario we built, our worst assumptions on the state of the global economy have been met or exceeded, with the continuing grip on credit and declining consumer confidence being the most damaging factors,” Nissan’s CEO, Carlos Ghosn, said.

Nissan said that it wants to use the government money to upgrade its Smyrna, Tennessee, assembly plant, and build a new facility for battery production.