Three years after Nissan introduced electric vehicle and battery manufacturing to Europe, the 50,000th European-built Leaf EV (electric vehicle) has rolled off the production line at the company’s plant in Sunderland.
Nissan says it is the first time a European carmaker has built 50,000 electric vehicles and the batteries which power them. Nissan Leaf manufacturing was launched in the UK in 2013 by prime minister David Cameron and is claimed to support over 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in its British suppliers.
The 50,000th car, a silver Tekna grade model left 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. Overall, the Leaf is the best-selling EV of all time with almost 220,000 vehicles sold worldwide.
This year, Nissan has launched the extended-range 250km (155 mile) Leaf in Europe with a 30kWh battery and announced that its future generation batteries are confirmed for production in Sunderland – a further £26.5m investment in the plant.
Paul Willcox, Chairman, 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 over 50,000 customers in Europe share our vision for a zero-emission future.”
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 £600 million in electric vehicles to make this a reality.”