Nissan to Build LEAF Electric Vehicle in UK  

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Nissan will start taking reservations for the Leaf electric vehicle in April, start building them by October and have the first of them rolling into driveways in December.

The Nissan Leaf and the plug-in Chevy Volt are supposed to hit U.S. dealerships late this year. They're the first wave of mass production electric cars. Mark Perry, who directs product planning for Nissan North America, says new owners will have no trouble finding a power station. "So the concern, 'If I use this vehicle or purchase this vehicle, can I get charging?' that's going to be a very easy answer here."

The Nissan Leaf all-electric vehicle goes on sale in late 2010.

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Press Release


UK to become third global manufacturing location for Nissan electric

  • Production to begin in early 2013

  • Initial annual production capacity in Sunderland of about 50,000

  • Together with Sunderland battery plant production, represents more
    than a 420 million GBP (468.2 million euro) investment in zero emission

SUNDERLAND, UK (March 18, 2010) -Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., further
underlined its commitment to zero emission leadership today by announcing
that the Nissan LEAF will be manufactured at its plant in Sunderland, UK.

Nissan LEAF - the first in a range of forthcoming Nissan electric
vehicles (EVs) - is the world's first affordable, mass produced zero
emission car and embodies Nissan's vision for an environmentally sustainable
future for road transport.

Nissan also said that construction of its advanced lithium-ion battery
plant, announced last year, will begin this April. The facility, which will
be located at Sunderland, will have a production capacity of 60,000 units a
year and will start manufacturing batteries in 2012 for both Nissan and its
Alliance partner Renault.

The production of Nissan LEAF and the batteries represents a total
investment of more than 420 million GBP (468.2 million euros) in the
Sunderland Plant and is expected to maintain about 2,250 jobs at Nissan and
across the UK supply chain. The investment will be supported by a 20.7
million GBP (23.1 million euros) Grant for Business Investment (GBI) from
the UK Government and a proposed finance package from the European
Investment Bank of up to 220 million euros (197.3 million GBP).

The UK's Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: "This investment is a
fantastic vote of confidence in the Sunderland plant and its excellent
workforce. The automotive sector is of key importance to the UK. It supports
R&D, technological innovation, skills and a supply chain that's a mainstay
of the wider manufacturing sector.

"Today's news from Nissan, with support from government, shows that by
working together we can achieve our aim of making the UK a world-leader in
ultra-low carbon vehicles."

Andy Palmer, senior vice president at Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and
responsible for the company's global EV strategy, said: "The world is at the
dawn of a new era in automotive transport. Nissan LEAF, which will go on
sale later this year, is a five-seater hatchback that offers the same space,
practicality and performance of a similar car in its class - minus the
tailpipe emissions."

"Thanks to the UK's firm commitment to a low carbon future in terms of
infrastructure, customer incentives and educational programmes, Nissan LEAF
will be built at Sunderland, making the UK the third country in the world to
produce this revolutionary car."

Production of Nissan LEAF will begin in Oppama, Japan later this year
followed by Smyrna, Tennessee, USA in 2012. Sunderland will come on-line in
early 2013 with an initial annual production capacity of about 50,000 units.
The three production sites will support the sales launch of the model, which
begins in late 2010 in Japan, the United States and selected European
markets, ahead of global mass marketing from 2012.

Nissan and its Alliance partner Renault are the only automakers committed
to mass marketing pure electric vehicles on a global scale and together have
announced production capacity of 500,000 units per year. To date, the
Alliance has entered into more than 50 partnerships worldwide with
countries, cities, organisations and other key stakeholders to prepare the
markets and infrastructure for the successful adoption of EVs around the

Work to integrate Nissan LEAF into Sunderland's manufacturing process
will begin in 2012. The car will be launched on the plant's ‘Number 2'
production line alongside the recently unveiled Juke compact crossover car,
which enters production in August 2010.

Nissan will continue to work in partnership with local and national
government in preparation for the UK sales launch of Nissan LEAF in early

Last December, Nissan and Regional Development Agency One North East
signed a definitive agreement on zero emission mobility. The agreement
includes the development of a regional network of charging points, supply of
Nissan LEAF to the region from early 2011 and a range of incentives for
early adopters of EVs, such as a period of free charging and use of
dedicated EV lanes.

Although zero-emission vehicles are the centerpiece of Nissan's product
strategy, the company is also investing in a portfolio of low-emission
technologies (called PureDrive) such as clean diesels, efficient
internal-combustion engines and hybrids.


Note: Amounts in euros and pounds are translated for the convenience of
the reader at the foreign exchange rate of 1.115 euro/pound and 0.897
pound/euro (as of Wednesday March 17, 2010)

NISSAN LEAF at a glance:

  • World's first affordable, mass produced zero emission car

  • Five-seater C-segment hatchback

  • Powered by an 80kW electric motor

  • Charges to 80% of capacity in under 30 minutes (rapid charging)

  • Real-world range: 160 km (100 miles - US-LA 4 mode)

  • Top speed of more than 140 km/h (90 mph)

  • Produced on all-new dedicated EV platform

Sunderland Plant facts:

  • Established in 1984 (start of production 1986)

  • Total investment in plant to date: 2.68 billion GBP (2.99 billion

  • Total volume since start of production: 5.6 million units

  • Total 2009 volume: 338,000 units

  • Current workforce: 4,100 employees

  • UK's largest car producer and exporter

  • Produced a third of all cars built in the UK in 2009

  • Current model line-up: Qashqai, Qashqai +2, Note and Micra

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