The European Investment Bank has announced that it is supporting the production of the Nissan LEAF electric car in Sunderland (UK) with an investment injection of £190 million (US$297 million). The funding will go towards both the production of the Nissan LEAF and the lithium-ion batteries used in the vehicle.
The EIB investment is in addition to a £420 million (US$656 million) investment by Nissan in its Sunderland plant and £20.7 million (US$32.3 million) by the UK Government. The all-electric Nissan LEAF will go into production in Sunderland in 2013 with an initial production capacity of around 50,000 vehicles a year.
Nissan has sold more than 20,000 LEAFs worldwide since going on sale last December. Take-up of EVs has proved sluggish so far in the UK with figures released in October showing fewer than 800 vehicles have been sold through the £5k (US$7.8k) plug-in car grant.