Nissan is taking a big step toward the future with a significant investment in electrification and carbon-neutral operations. However, to make that happen, the Japanese automaker is taking on an equally large loan to the tune of 200 billion yen. In current financial markets, that equates to $1.44 billion.

Specifically, Nissan says the loan is for "zero emission mobility investments." The company signed the loan on November 30, arranged by Mizuho Bank with MUFG Bank and other financial institutions involved. The contract period is five and seven years, and the money will go towards funding for a variety of green projects.

Gallery: 2020 Nissan Leaf

Nissan doesn't go into detail on these projects, other than to say they are defined by the Nissan Sustainable Finance Framework. This is an initiative launched by Nissan in July to better direct funding towards projects supporting renewable energy and clean manufacturing systems, battery development, autonomous driving systems, EV charging infrastructure, next-generation electrified vehicles, and associated technologies.

A $1.4 billion loan isn't exactly pocket change, but Nissan isn't a stranger to electrification. The first-generation Leaf BEV entered the market in 2010, beating the Tesla Model S by two years. It was one of the earliest modern-era electric vehicles available, and through 2019 it was the world's top-selling EV. Despite that early start, Nissan has slipped somewhat in the electric realm with just a handful of hybrids accompanying the Leaf through the years. As for the Leaf, it's now largely outclassed by most electric competitors delivering better range and performance.

The Nissan Ariya is the company's second all-electric offering for mass markets, though it's only now reaching dealerships after numerous delays. With a range of over 300 miles, it aims to be a competitive crossover in an electric segment that's getting more crowded by the minute. Starting at $44,485, it slots neatly with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6, and it will match up with the Chevrolet Blazer EV when it goes on sale later in 2023.

Check out the Rambling About Cars podcast for more automotive news and witty banter, available below.

Got a tip for us? Email: