50,000th Nissan LEAF charges off the UK production line

Posted on 11 May 2016 by Jonny Williamson

Three years after Nissan introduced electric vehicle and battery manufacturing to Europe, the 50,000th European-built Nissan LEAF has rolled off the production line.

50,000th Nissan LEAF produced in the UK - image courtesy of Nissan
50,000th Nissan LEAF produced in the UK – image courtesy of Nissan.

Manufactured in Nissan’s flagship plant in Sunderland, it’s the first time a European carmaker has built 50,000 electric vehicles (EVs) and the batteries which power them – further confirmation of Nissan’s innovation and leadership in electric vehicle technology.

The silver, Tekna grade Nissan LEAF rolled off the production line last week and is destined for a customer in France.

European-built Nissan LEAFs are currently exported to more than 20 global markets, covering Western Europe and other destinations as diverse as Argentina; Iceland; Israel, and Taiwan.

Nissan LEAF and battery manufacturing was launched in the UK in 2013 by Prime Minister David Cameron and supports more than 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in its UK suppliers.

This year is shaping up to be a landmark for LEAF, with the extended-range 250km LEAF introduced to Europe and the announcement that Nissan’s future generation batteries are confirmed for production in Sunderland – a further £26.5m investment in the plant.

Chairman of Nissan Europe, Paul Willcox commented: “What Nissan is doing today with electric vehicle technology is more advanced than any other car manufacturer.

“This milestone is another first for Nissan and for our team in Sunderland. No other brand has Nissan’s experience or expertise in both battery and vehicle production, and I’m thrilled that over 50,000 customers in Europe share our vision for a zero-emission future.”

Five years ago, the Nissan LEAF was the first mass-market electric vehicle to go on sale and it remains the best-selling EV of all time with almost 220,000 vehicles sold worldwide.

Having introduced electric vehicle production to Europe with LEAF in 2013, Nissan launched a second EV into Europe in 2014 when the e-NV200 van went into production in the Nissan’s Barcelona plant in Spain – powered by the same European-built advanced lithium-ion batteries as the LEAF.

Today, Nissan is reportedly the first manufacturer to look beyond the car and into the future with its Nissan-developed technologies – turning the LEAF into a fuel station for homes or workplaces, and a mobile power unit that makes Nissan customers money.

UK Transport Minister,  Andrew Jones said: “This major milestone is great news for Nissan and yet another example of Britain leading the way in developing cleaner vehicle technology, which is good for the environment and supports jobs and growth.

“Our goal is for nearly every car to be zero emission by 2050 and we are investing £600m in electric vehicles to make this a reality.”