To celebrate the 250,000th example of the Nissan Leaf produced in the UK, an example of the electric hatchback is being used to power an outdoor Christmas display at the Japanese marque’s Sunderland plant.
Production of the Leaf began more than a decade ago shortly after the world’s first mass-market electric vehicle arrived in 2010. In that time, a quarter of a million Leafs have been produced at Nissan’s main UK facility in Sunderland.
To celebrate both this milestone and the Leaf’s newly-established ‘V2X’ vehicle-to-grid technology – fittingly dubbed ‘V2X-MAS’ – one Leaf, and more specifically its 40 kWh battery, is being used to powered the lights on the Sunderland plant’s 32-foot Christmas tree as well as the “shimmering reindeer” collective alongside it.
The Leaf has since been joined on the Sunderland production line by electrified alternatives to the Qashqai SUV and Juke crossover, both of which were introduced earlier this year.
“Passing a quarter of a million Nissan Leaf is a tremendous milestone, and demonstrates the electric vehicle manufacturing expertise we have built up at our plant over the past decade,” Sunderland manufacturing VP Alan Johnson explains. “This year we have completely electrified the plant’s line-up with the new versions of Qashqai and Juke launched, so lighting up the Christmas tree with our original EV is a spectacular and appropriate way to end 2022.”
As well as celebrating the Leaf and its increased electrified line-up – a step towards Nissan’s goal of achieving carbon-neutrality across its product line-up and operations by 2050 – the demonstration also showcases the brand’s new ‘EV36Zero’ battery and electric vehicle manufacturing hub. An initial £1 billion (around $1.67 billion) was invested collectively by Nissan, battery tech world leader Envision AESC, and Sunderland City Council into EV36Zero to increase development of electric vehicles and renewable energy alongside battery production.
On top of that, a further £423 million (just over $706 million) will be pumped into developing a new generation all-electric crossover, set to showcase Nissan’s new Alliance CMF-EV platform and its next generation battery technology. A 100,000 production capacity has already been earmarked.