Sunderland joins Oppama and Smyrna plants to handle global supply of second-gen electric hatch
Sam Sheehan
7 September 2017

The next-generation Nissan Leaf will go into production at the end of 2017 at plants in Japan, the UK and the US, the brand has confirmed.

Nissan’s Oppama plant in Japan, the Sunderland plant in the North-East of England and the Smyrna plant in Texas will handle the manufacturing of the new model, which will be built on a heavily evolved electric platform.

Sunderland is one of the UK's biggest car producers, having built more than half a million cars in 2016. Its biggest product is the Nissan Qashqai.

Autocar has driven a Japan-spec prototype of the second Leaf, but British cars will get bespoke settings to cater to the unique and potted roads here. The car will also be adapted for other markets.

Sales will kick off in Japan on 2 October, with order books in other markets, including Europe, opening soon after.

Nissan manufacturing and supply chain boss Fumiaki Matsumoto said: “The Nissan Leaf is the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, with its many advanced technologies. Nissan employees in Oppama, Smyrna and Sunderland are excited to continue producing the most popular electric vehicle in the world.”

The first-generation Nissan Leaf is the most heavily demanded electric car in existence, with 283,000 units having been built – around 40,000 more than the entire Tesla range so far.

Nissan expects demand to grow with the introduction of the new Leaf, due to its vastly improved performance and less divisive design. But trends suggest its place as the most-demanded electric vehicle may be diminished by the Tesla Model 3, which has been ordered around 400,000 times.

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Comments
6

7 September 2017

In the long run, cars like this won't be a success because they are too heavy and too inefficient.

They use too much electricity.

If there are lots of these heavy electric cars on the road then the cost of electricity will increase for everyone.

7 September 2017

The Leaf, Zoe, Model S, Telsa Model 3 aren't/won't be a success, really. Still in the early stages but countries like Norway 1 in 4 new car sales are Electric, perhaps you should write to Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes, Renault, BMW, GM stating all their plans are wrong and they should stick to diesel.

Too heavy, Model 3 1610kg, it's C class competitor is only around 80kg's lighter, the Model S in some cases is lighter than the Panamera Diesel's.

3 years ago the nay sayers were all going on about how slow EV's would be, look at the next Leafs figures, Model 3 0-62 5.2 seconds (leaves a Golf GTI behind).

Use to much electricity, next to nothing is more efficient that an electric motor?? Norway says it's not a problem and an average driver would use about 15Kwh a day to do 50 miles, our 12kwh shower uses almost as much as that!

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

7 September 2017

The universities have been working with manufacturers in fuel cells for at least fifteen years. That motive drive will be the future. The farmers are already looking at making hydrogen on-site for fuel cell tractors etc. 

I know the infrastructure argument against hyrdrogen, but that seems dwarved by the requirements of battery power charging points across europe. Car firms are run by accountants who can only think and work in the sort term hence the rush to battery power - a realtively cheap and easy fix to reach new legislative targets but probably not the long-term answer

7 September 2017

The universities have been working with manufacturers in fuel cells for at least fifteen years. That motive drive will be the future. The farmers are already looking at making hydrogen on-site for fuel cell tractors etc. 

I know the infrastructure argument against hyrdrogen, but that seems dwarved by the requirements of battery power charging points across europe. Car firms are run by accountants who can only think and work in the sort term hence the rush to battery power - a realtively cheap and easy fix to reach new legislative targets but probably not the long-term answer

7 September 2017

It's more than infrastructure, it's slow, inefficient (around 23mpg), expensive to make the car, expensive to produce hydrogen (1kg needs 30kwh), expensive to transport etc

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

11 September 2017

The Smyrna VAP is located in Tennessee, not Texas.

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