The 50,000th Nissan Leaf has rolled of the production line at the company’s Sunderland plant, just three years after production of the model started. The flagship factory not only builds the best-selling EV, but also the batteries that power them.
UK built Leafs are exported to 23 markets around the world including locations such as Western Europe – the 50,000th model went to a customer in France – Argentina, Iceland, Israel and Taiwan.
Production at the Nissan site supports more than 2,000 jobs for the company and suppliers, while the factory will continue to be important for the Japanese manufacturer as future generation batteries are confirmed for production in Sunderland after a further £26.5 million investment was confirmed recently.
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 over 50,000 customers in Europe share our vision for a zero-emission future.”
The Nissan Leaf first went on sale five years ago as the first mass-market electric vehicle to go on sale, and remains the best-selling EV around the world with almost 220,000 vehicles sold.
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.”
The news comes as Nissan reveals plans to progress with energy storage solutions using both EVs and recycled Leaf batteries to allow customers cheaper and smarter electricity usage.