Nissan is today celebrating the dawn of a bold new era in European car manufacturing with the official start of production of the new and improved, 100% electric Nissan LEAF.
This new Nissan LEAF, incorporating more than 100 updates, is now rolling off the line at the company’s record-breaking Sunderland Plant,using advanced lithium-ion batteries manufactured in Nissan’s new UK Battery Plant.
Nissan’s continuing innovation means the world’s best-selling electric vehicle is now even better. The new LEAF for 2013 has more than 100 updates aimed at making Nissan’s zero-emissions technology accessible to even more European drivers, includingan increased driving range of 124 miles and the ability to recharge in half the time of the first-generation LEAF.
UK Prime Minister,the Rt. Hon. David Cameron said: “Nissan’s record breaking year last year is a success story for UK volume car manufacturing and demonstrates how our automotive industry is competing and thriving in the global race. I warmly welcome the production of the new electric LEAF model and battery plant at Sunderland. This £420 million investment, backed by Government, is supporting over 2,000 jobs in our automotive sector including more than 500 at Nissan in Sunderland, helping people in the area who want to work hard and get on.
“The Government has committed £400 million to make the UK a leading market for ultra low carbon vehicles. Nissan’s announcement shows the confidence the company has in the skills-base and the business environment in the UK and that the UK is open for business.”
“The Nissan LEAF is our most technically advanced car yet and the launch of this new model, built along with its batteries in Sunderland, is a huge boost not only for the plant but for British manufacturing. We have been showing that you can operate a world-beating plant in the UK for almost 30 years and the construction of the Battery Plant is a vote of confidence in the country’s ability to support high-technology manufacturing.”
With more than 55,000 Nissan LEAFs on the world’s roads today, and with two years of real-world zero emissions experience behind it, today’s announcement marks the start of an exciting chapter for Nissan. The Nissan LEAF is now built in three locations worldwide: Sunderland, UK; Smyrna, Tennessee, USA; and Oppama, Japan.
The launch of three new grades, new interior trim, the addition of Nissan’s Around View Monitor technology and new suspension settings specifically tailored for European roads build on the LEAF’s unique driving experience. This new package givescustomers in Europe a second generation zero-emissions car, before most companies have even launched their first electric vehicle.
Integrated on the same line as the best-selling Nissan Qashqai, the new LEAF is a major milestone in Nissan’s global zero-emission leadership. In just 12 months, Nissan has increased the number of dealers selling the LEAF from 200 to 1,400 and the number of charging points in Europe has grown from 12,000 to more than 20,000, proving that electric vehicles are becoming increasingly attractive.
The new Nissan LEAF soon will be joined by all-electric versions of the award-winning NV200, to be called e-NV200, in both light commercial van and five-seat combi versions. Development of a dedicated EV taxi based on the e-NV200 is also underway.