If you want to buy a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, you are in luck as the Japanese manufacturer started production of its first mass production EV. The manufacturer announced that the production has stated at its Oppama plant south of Tokyo.
Furthermore, the exports to the United States will begin next month, while the first shipments to the European market will start in December.
“This is a significant milestone, not only for Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, but also for the entire automotive industry,” Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said at an offline ceremony.
According to Nissan, the Oppama plant has a capacity of 50,000 units per year, but the manufacturer will also start assembling the car in late 2012 at the Smyrna, Tenn. Plant, while the production at the Sunderland, England, will start in early 2013.
The Smyrna plant will have a capacity of 150,000 units per year, while the Sunderland plant will be smaller, with only 50,000 units.
Nissan made the decision to build a manufacturing plant in Oppama, Japan, just south of Tokyo, dedicated to the manufacture of the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle. It was eventually commissioned and production kick-started in 2011.
Nissan Executive VP said that the Oppama plant will not only serve as the main manufacturing plant for the Nissan LEAF EV, but will also serve as a test-bed for manufacturing processes and techniques for EVs that will then be implemented in the Smyrna, Tennessee and Sunderland, England production facilities also for EVs.
Carlos Ghosn, Nissan President and CEO at that time, also said that the opening of the Oppama facility is a milestone for the automotive industry as it signals the shift towards providing mobility solutions that are sustainable in terms of propulsion and also affordable, without sacrificing reliability and performance.
Ghosn said that the consumers made their demands clear and the Renault-Nissan Alliance is making moves to satisfy that demand starting with the Nissan LEAF.