Nissan Leaf hits huge electric car milestone

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Words: Matthew Hansen
10 Sep 2020

One of the most popular electric cars on the planet has achieved a new production milestone — just in time for yesterday’s World Electric Vehicle Day, too.

Nissan’s 500,000th fully electric Leaf, has just rolled off the production line of the manufacturer’s Sunderland plant. The brand’s UK factory is nearing the production of its 175,000th Leaf.

Leaf number half a million is on its way to a new owner in Norway, Maria Jansen. “My husband and I chose to buy a Nissan LEAF back in 2018, and we loved it,” she said after Nissan tracked her down. “We’re very excited to become the proud owners of the 500,000th Nissan LEAF. This car really meets our needs with extended range and enhanced technologies.”

It’s the second big EV milestone of 2020. Back in March, Tesla produced its 1,000,000th car — a Model Y compact crossover. Ironically the car that the Model Y shares its platform with, the Model 3, recently surpassed the Leaf as the world’s most popular EV of the moment.

It’s been a year of ups and downs for Nissan, with ongoing debate about former CEO Carlos Ghosn and profits on a decline. The factory that produced the 500,000th Leaf had been rumoured to be closing down (following in the footsteps of the brand’s old Barcelona production facility), but Nissan recently committed to keeping it alive.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel, though. Nissan is planning for a full EV assault with the upcoming Ariya — a new electric SUV flagship to sit on top of the Leaf in the line-up. And later this month the firm will unveil its new 400Z sports car, which is set to go head-to-head with the Toyota GR Supra.

And, in the face of some of the doom and gloom, the Leaf stands as an example of a Nissan model on the rise. While it took nine years to achieve 400,000 sales, it’s only taken a year to add another 100,000.


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