In addition to sites in the U.S. and Japan, Nissan ‘s upcoming Leaf electric vehicle will be built alongside the Juke compact crossover at the brand’sSunderland, U.K. plant. The zero-emission, five-passenger model will roll off the Number 2 assembly line in 2013.
Sunderland has a planned initial capacity of 50,000 units and will be complemented by a new lithium-ion battery plant that’s scheduled to open in 2012. It’ll churn out a maximum of 60,000 batteries per year.
The Renault-Nissan alliance is investing $639.8 million into the location. Its site in Oppama, Japan will begin Leaf production later this year, with Smyrna, Tennessee, following in 2012.
A limited number of Japanese, American, and European buyers will have the chance to put a Leaf in their garages later this year. Availability, at this point, has much to do with a customer’s location and that location’s friendliness to EVs in terms of infrastructure, grid capacity, and other factors. Nissan hopes to introduce the Leaf on a global scale in 2012.