Nissan to build electric Leaf in Europe from 2013 image

Nissan Motor Corp. on Wednesday said it has received EUR 220 m from the European Investment Bank to build the electric Leaf model in Sunderland – UK.

The production will commence in Sunderland in 2013 with an initial production capacity of around 50,000 vehicles a year.

“We are extremely grateful for this support from the European Investment Bank, who share our vision and commitment for the roll-out of zero-emission transport”.

The funding will also support the production of lithium-ion electric vehicle battery cells in early 2012 at the plant.

Simon Brooks, European Investment Bank (EIC) vice president for the UK said: “New Nissan investment to produce the Nissan LEAF model demonstrates the commercial emergence of electric vehicles from research intensive concept cars.”

Deliveries of Nissan LEAF have already begun in the UK, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, France, Spain, Switzerland and Portugal. It costs £23,350 (€27,471) after a £5,000 government rebate (UK).

The announcement comes shortly after the Japanese automaker said it will give 400 quick charging stations for free to select electric vehicle charging operators in Europe in hopes to drive sales up for E.V.s, including their own Nissan LEAF.