By Stewart Smith on 2016-05-11 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
Nissan makes 50,000
THREE years after Nissan introduced electric vehicle and battery manufacturing to Europe, the 50,000thEuropean-built LEAF has rolled off the company's production line in Sunderland.
Manufactured in Nissan's flagship UK plant it is the first time a European car maker has built 50,000 electric vehicles and the batteries which power them.
The silver, Tekna grade Nissan LEAF off the production line in Sunderland is destined for a customer in France.
European-built Nissan LEAFs are currently exported to 23 global markets covering Western Europe and other destinations as diverse as Argentina, Iceland, Israel and Taiwan.
Nissan LEAF and battery manufacturing was launched in the UK in 2013 and supports over 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in its UK suppliers.
Already 2016 is shaping up to be a landmark year for LEAF, with the extended-range LEAF introduced to Europe and the announcement that Nissan's future generation batteries are confirmed for production in Sunderland - a further Â£26.5 million investment in the plant.
Paul Wilcox, chairman of Nissan Europe, said:"What Nissan is doing today with electric vehicle technology is more advanced than any other car manufacturer.
"This milestone is another first for Nissan and for our team in Sunderland. No other brand has Nissan's experience or expertise in both battery and vehicle production, and I'm thrilled that over 50,000 customers in Europe share our vision for a zero emission future."
Five years ago the Nissan LEAF became the first mass-market electric vehicle to go on sale and it remains the best-selling EV of all time with almost 220,000 vehicles sold worldwide.
A more powerful 30kWh version of the Leaf with a range of up to 155 miles on a single charge was launched last year and in Britain is priced from £23,590 with the Government grant for electric vehicles.
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