Nissan Leaf production to end in the UK

Nissan is ending production of the Leaf at its Sunderland factory after a more than a decade.

The pioneering EV has been built at Nissan’s factory in the North-East since 2013 and more than 270,000 Leafs have come off Sunderland’s production line.

However, Nissan has confirmed that it is stopping Leaf production so it can upgrade Sunderland to build three new electric models, including the Leaf’s replacement. While these models will secure the future of the factory, the first isn’t due on sale until 2026.

A Nissan spokesperson said: “After 13 years of great success, the current generation of Nissan Leaf, the world’s first mass-market 100% electric vehicle, is approaching the end of its life cycle in Europe.

“Nissan has already announced a new line-up of 100% electric vehicles for the European market to be produced in Sunderland plant as part of our commitment to sustainability and electrification.”

The spokesperson said that customers will still be able to order a new Leaf from stock for the foreseeable future. They added: “In the UK, the LEAF remains on sale in 2024. With a range of great consumer offers and good supply at Nissan dealerships, it continues to be an affordable and accessible option for customers looking to switch to electric motoring.”

Nissan will continue to build the Leaf in the US and Japan until 2025 but the announcement sounds the death knell for the model in Europe.

The Leaf was one of the first mainstream electric cars and has sold 680,000 units worldwide, bringing a new type of driver to EVs. The first generation was truly groundbreaking and the second gen brought significant improvements in range, power and charging in 2013. However, since then a tide of rivals have moved the market on, leaving the Leaf feeling slightly outdated. Nonetheless, it remains one of the UK’s most affordable electric cars, priced at just over £28,000.

The move leaves Nissan with the Ariya as its only electric passenger car, alongside the Townstar and Interstar-e vans.

Nissan is spending between £2 billion and £3bn on redeveloping the Sunderland site to manufacture the replacement for the Leaf alongside electric equivalents of the best-selling Qashqai and Juke crossovers. The site will also continue to produce the current generation of Qashqai and Juke.

Its battery partner, AESC UK, is also spending £450m on a new factory close to the Sunderland plant to supply power sources to the next generation of Nissan electric cars, with annual capacity for up to 100,000 vehicles.

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.