The Nissan Electric Leaf will be available to British drivers much earlier than first thought
The Nissan Electric Leaf will be available to British drivers much earlier than first thought. The Nissan Leaf will be imported from Japan in March next year. Originally sales were not going to start until 2013. The Nissan Sunderland plant will eventually build 50,000 cars a year starting in 2012, but over the next six months potential buyers in the UK will be offered the chance to test versions of the Nissan Leaf in the real word as part of the company’s research programme.
The first Nissan Leaf will arrive in the UK next month for a series of tests and demonstrations. Nissan claims the car will be the world’s first affordable, mass-produced electric vehicle. Unlike other electric cars, which seat just two passengers, it is a five-seat hatchback, capable of travelling up to 100 miles on a single recharge.
The "LEAF" name is a significant statement about the car itself. Just as leaves purify the air in nature, so Nissan LEAF purifies mobility by taking emissions out of the driving experience. Its lithium-ion batteries, which will be built in a separate plant in Sunderland, can be recharged to 80% of their capacity in less than 30 minutes, rather than overnight, as is the case with battery packs currently used in other electric cars. Nissan says it will cost the same as a 1.6-litre five-door hatchback with a conventional engine.