Up until now, the pure electric vehicle hatch has been built solely in Japan, but Nissan is rolling out locally built versions of the Leaf for Europe and North America. In Europe, series production will begin at the company’s UK plant in Sunderland alongside the Qashqai, Note and Juke. The Leaf’s lithium-ion batteries are already being manufactured at a new facility nearby on the Sunderland site.
“By sourcing Nissan LEAF and its batteries in Europe, we are underlining our faith not just in the ability of the Sunderland facility to build our most technically advanced car, but also in the fact that electric vehicles can be considered a genuine alternative to conventionally powered vehicles,” said Paul Willcox, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan Europe.
Like its Japanese and American counterparts, the European-built 2013 Leaf comes with more than 100 changes, including some subtle design updates to improve aerodynamics, a faster charging option, a wider range of regenerative braking and enhanced energy management, while Nissan has also dropped pricing by €3,000 (roughly $4,000).
In Geneva, Nissan will also display the 370Z Nismo, 2013MY GT-R, Juke Nismo and the Resonance concept, next to the new Leaf and Note.