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Electric Leaf will be produced in Sunderland

Nissan has confirmed its new Leaf electric vehicle will be produced in Sunderland at the start of 2013 and UK dealers have already started learning how to sell and service it.

It looks like Nissan will be true to its promise to make Leaf an affordable EV – it will be priced around £27,000 in Japan.

If Nissan GB can price it similarly here, then once the Government’s £5,000 subsidy is taken off it could cost little more than a well-specified Ford Focus diesel.

The Japanese brand is expecting an initial annual production of 50,000 units and is investing £420 million in producing the new model which includes battery production.

The investment will be supported by a £20.7m Government grant and a proposed finance package from the European Investment Bank of up to £197.3m.

Lithium-ion battery production will start in April.

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