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Leaf production underway in Japan  (Source: Nissan)
U.S. and UK plants production will start later

One of the most anticipated plug-in electric vehicles to be unveiled this year is the Nissan Leaf and we are getting closer to the launch date for the vehicle. Motor Trend reports that Leaf production has started in Japan and the plant building the EVs will be the model for future Leaf production facilities around the world.

The Leaf is being built in the Nissan Oppama facility in Japan which has a production capacity of 50,000 units right now. Presumably, that capacity can be increased in the future if needed. Once the vehicle is in full swing and the demand increases, Nissan will roll out similar assembly lines to plants in Smyrna, Tennessee and the Sunderland plant in England.

The U.S. assembly line will have a production capacity of 150,000 units per year at full tilt and the Sunderland plant will be good for 50,000 Leaf vehicles that will be used to meet demand in England and Europe. Nissan will take lessons learned in the assembly process at the Oppama facility and roll those tricks out to the other manufacturing plants as needed.

"Oppama will serve as the 'Mother Plant' for the production of Nissan Leaf," said Hidetoshi Imazu, Nissan's executive VP of manufacturing. "We will use all of the know-how and learnings from Oppama to ensure the highest quality at all sites that manufacture Nissan EVs."

Nissan revealed in March that the Leaf's price will be $32,780 before the $7,500 federal tax rebate. Nissan will also be offering a lease on the Leaf at $349 per month with the rebate coming to Nissan rather than the buyer.

The EV is good for 100 miles on a single charge and will have a top speed of 87 mph. Nissan is also reportedly considering offering Leaf buyers a rental car for longer trips when needed. 





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