Nissan will kick off mass-production of the Leaf, and the lithium ion batteries that power it, at the company's plant in Sunderland, U.K.
The Japanese company today announced that the facility 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. Nissan will invest $640 million (486.2 million euros) in the plant.
Production of Nissan Leaf will begin in Oppama, Japan, later this year followed by Smyrna, Tennessee, in 2012. Sunderland will come online 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, according to the announcement.
The Leaf, which has a range of 100 miles (160 kilometers) on a single battery charge, is a five-seater hatchback that offers the same space, practicality, and performance of a similar car in its class.
(Source: Nissan U.K.)