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Sunderland (UK) Becomes 3rd Site for Nissan Leaf Production

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., announced that the Nissan LEAF will be manufactured at its plant in Sunderland, UK. 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 (US$643 million) 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 Grant for Business Investment (GBI) from the UK Government and a proposed finance package from the European Investment Bank of up to €220 million (US$302 million).

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.

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 2011.



This roll-out is in conjunction with One North East, a development corporation, and they plan a roll-out of 13,000 charging points in the North East and 25,000 in London.
Costs estimated by Renault, who are producing the Fluence, their ( better looking ) version of the Leaf are now available:

'Renault is considering a starting price on the Fluence of 25,000 euros to 28,000 euros, with the subsidy included.'

The subsidy is 5,000 Euros.

At 1.37 dollars to the Euro that works out at around $41-45k not including subsidy, or $33,000-37,500 including $7,500 subsidy.

A battery hire charge of 100 Euros/month ( $137 ) seems to indicate a battery pack price of around 8,000 Euros, or around $11,000, for a price of about $450kwh.

Those figures work in Europe with exemptions from the very high fuel taxes, but not in economic terms in the US.

Battery costs, if you are happy with a range of just 100 miles, should according to Nissan halve by around 2015 with the introduction of their lithium manganese cobalt battery.


I hope that they sell 50,000 units per year worldwide. I have my doubts without seeing the marketing data.


When battery prices drop by 50%, EFs should start to move.

I would think that by 2015, synergistic battery improvements by the hundreds of efforts world wide, should bare fruit, or at least affordable EVs.

Meanwhile, politically or emotionally motivated purchases of EVs, with today’s batteries (that have not evolved to affordability), is unlikely to be an efficient way to advance the technology.

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