• Oct 22nd 2010 at 2:06PM
  • 24
Last night, Nissan Motor Co. officially kicked off production of its battery-powered Leaf at the company's facility in Oppama, Japan. The Leaf is slated to go on sale this December in both the U.S. and Japan. Production Leafs will roll out the doors of the Oppama plant and board ships for export to the U.S. in November.

Portions of the Oppama plant have been modified to accommodate production of the Leaf. The assembly line area that is typically used to install fuel tanks into conventional vehicles received modifications that allow workers to mount the Leaf's 24 kWh battery pack in its final resting place underneath the vehicle. The Leaf's motors and inverters get dropped in at the same stage of assembly as traditional vehicles would receive their gasoline-fueled engines.

The Oppama plant has enough capacity to produce 50,000 Leafs per year. Future production sites for the Nissan Leaf include Smyrna, TN and Sunderland, England. The Tennessee site should be Leaf-ready by late 2012 and the Sunderland plant is expected to come online in early 2013. Both sites should provide a significant, and hopefully much needed, boost in production capacity. Hit the jump for more on the production of the Nissan Leaf and click here to watch the assembly process.

[Source: Nissan]

PRESS RELEASE

Production of 100% Electric, Zero-Emission Nissan LEAF begins at Oppama, Japan


Exports to start in November for World's First Mass-Market Priced, Family-Sized EV

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Oct. 22, 2010) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has started production at its Oppama facility for the all-new 100% electric, zero-emission Nissan LEAF, which is slated to go on sale in December in Japan and the United States, and from early 2011, in select markets in Europe. In November, the company will begin exports to the United States, followed by shipments to Europe in December.

"This is a significant milestone, not only for Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, but also for the entire automotive industry," said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn at the Nissan LEAF offline ceremony. "Consumers are clear. They want sustainable and affordable mobility...and the Alliance is leading the way with cars that deliver exactly that, with the reliability, excitement and performance that consumers demand. The high-quality, innovative Nissan LEAF will radically transform what consumers expect from automobile manufacturers worldwide."

Nissan LEAF will be produced at the Oppama Plant along with popular gasoline models such as Nissan Juke and Nissan Cube. Part of the assembly line has been modified to mount battery modules at the stage of production where fuel tanks are traditionally installed, and motors and inverters are mounted at the point where engines are installed in gasoline-powered vehicles. Production quality and efficiency are assured by applying the Nissan Production Way (NPW) in every step of the assembly process.

Nissan LEAF's lithium-ion battery modules are manufactured at the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) operation in Zama, Japan, which is a joint-venture of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and NEC Corporation. The battery module, which contains 4 battery cells, are assembled at Zama and then shipped to the Nissan Oppama facility, where 48 of them are assembled into the electric car's battery pack.

Hidetoshi Imazu, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing, said, "Oppama will serve as the 'Mother Plant' for the production of Nissan LEAF. We will use all of the know-how and learnings from Oppama to ensure the highest quality at all sites that manufacture Nissan EVs."

Sites for future production of Nissan EVs include Smyrna, Tennessee, in the United States and Sunderland, England, in the UK.

The Oppama plant has an annual production capacity of 50,000 units. Nissan LEAF will start production at Smyrna in late 2012 and at Sunderland in early 2013. At full ramp up, Smyrna will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 units, and Sunderland will have a capacity of 50,000 units.

Nissan LEAF is the first 100% electric, zero-emission vehicle to be produced for the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Nissan, together with its Alliance partner, Renault, aims to be a global leader in zero-emission mobility. To date, the Alliance has signed 80 partnerships for zero-emission mobility with governments, municipalities and companies worldwide.


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  • 24 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ernie must have his anti-gorr filter turned on, as he completely missed the joke :)

      EVsuper: ya, i don't know why YOUR comment got deleted of all things. I think all it takes is for some people to hit the report button....
      • 4 Years Ago
      If people are gripping about the Volt's interior the Leaf should be met with equal disdain. In the stock photo's it looks ok but in a video I just watch it looked pretty basic.

      I dont think there is anything wrong with the interior but it is not $30K car level, just like the Volt is not $40K car level refinement. Ultimately, who cares? No one buys these types of cars for that reason.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I just wanted to clarify, I have never complimented anyone on their BBC before, the situation just never arose. Okay, I am done but before I go, I wonder if your wife likes that BBC? I imagine she doesn't want it to be much of a free range situation, those can do so much damage. Wish I had a BBC, though you can't realy get them to mind, matter of fact, they are most likly damned unruly, if I had one I would probably beat it to death. Doh!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have heard, once you have a black, ah, Rooster you never want a fighting cock of a different color? Is that true? By the way, nice cock you got there.

        Did anyone else notice they only showed video of a ICE and transmission being installed? See how big it all was with the ICE and trans? Now picture a electric motor mated to a one speed gearbox. Of course after you get through mating a motor controller, charger, DC to DC converter, AC compressor, possibly a 12 volt battery and other 12 volt systems the mated motor and gearbox would look bulkier going in, unless some of them were attached at a different time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ^--rotflmao!
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Leaf cabin is distinctive to me, light and airy. The Volt interior looks cheap apart from its LCD panels and touch control surface. I agree there are better interiors at both price points, and it's not that important.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I SAID to sell electric cars with unlimited range with 4 places with heating and that can go to 100 m.p.h with unlimited range. light weight and aerodynamic battery electric drive and option of tiny range extender. only that will do. A small one cylinder gasoline engine/generator of 200cc can power a small car the size of a ford focus or civic or corrolla or mazda 3 or cavalier or dodge neon or tesla, imiev. ithink, go kart, fit, yaris, fiesta, big rollerblades kit, 10 speeds bycicles, scooter, small motorcycle, home emergency electricity.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, that is a first. Dan Fredricksen, you were right. ABG actually removed my comical, witty post and most appropriate I might add. Perhaps sexually explicit but no more than Check out my big black Cock. Actualy, I complemented a nother race. Frankly I have gotten away with a lot more than this in the past... Oh well no big deal. Must be that time of the month for ABG?

      Mid way and nottosmart, are you guys making fun of me? :) I am paranoid now. Sign me up for the electric, big rollerblade kit, please. : ) Why is gorr always interested to buy strange things, he never wants to buy the Leaf.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they don't put a small gasoline battery recharger and performance enhancer then put a small diesel battery electric generator battery booster and performance enhancer and range extender and anti drain off of electricity on crowded winter highways at night alone in the car without amenuities like sanwichs, coca-cola, coffee winter coat winter boots, and without 1 mile long electric extention cords.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I said to gorr to tell us all about him/herself now.... GO...
      • 4 Years Ago
      First one off the line was Ocean Blue and LHD. Think that one may be mine. : )
      • 4 Years Ago
      Very exciting news! Looking forward to the first media reviews. The recent range data from Nissan has been very encouraging.

      Unfortunate looking but impressive none the less.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I meant to say publications LIKE motor-trend or ABG. I have only seen drives given at media events, not official tests (like we recently had for the Volt).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Define extended?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Has there been an extended drive of the production version by Motor Trend or Autoblog Green?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The first media reviews? Where have you been for the last 4 months?
      • 4 Years Ago
      @Middle Way,
      No, I think Ernie got it. And I didn't have to mention anything about a 2005 Neon.
      • 4 Years Ago
      When I see those Leaves arrive driving out of the cargo hold and down the gang way here in So. Cal.(Wilmington) I will be sure to give the heads up to you eager beavers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nottoosmart:

      Oh shut up you stupid troll. Honestly, that made about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine. Go buy a beater and try to make your grand plan work that way in the real world before you go spouting off on the internet again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope they start confirming delivery dates soon!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was told that I was "in the second group of 200" as I ordered on day two. I'm hoping that still means a December delivery.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Me too. I've been told to expect mine in early December, and Nissan has just tweeted that they'll have this first batch of cars in the US by November (I presume towards the end of)!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Doubtful. Because I've also been told only 100 customer cars in December.
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