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.
Manufactured in Nissan’s flagship plant in Sunderland, it is the first time a European carmaker has built 50,000 electric vehicles and the batteries which power them. The Japanese carmaker says this is further confirmation of Nissan’s innovation and leadership in electric vehicle technology.
In Ireland, sales of the Leaf are picking up. In the launch year, sales were 19, rising to 104 in 2014. This jumped furher to 252 last year, and in the first four months of this year they were 248 Leafs sold in the Republic.
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 23 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 and supports 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in its UK suppliers. And 2016 is shaping up to be a landmark year for the Leaf with the extended-range 250km introduced to Europe and the announcement that Nissan’s future generation batteries are confirmed for production in Sunderland – with a further £26.5m investment in the plant.
Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan Europe, said: “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 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. With a new 155-mile range Leaf 30kWh on sale across Europe, Nissan is pioneering affordable, all-electric technology for the mass market.
Having introduced electric vehicle production to Europe 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 the first manufacturer to look beyond the car and into the future with its pioneering Nissan-developed technologies - turning the Leaf into a fuel station for your house or workplace and a mobile power unit that makes Nissan customers money.
Launched in Europe earlier this year, the new Nissan Leaf 30kWh goes 25 per cent further than the previous model, delivering up to 155 miles of driving range on a single charge, beating all of its competitors within the segment.