The company announced a list of measures to prepare the European market for higher volume leading up to the start of production in England in 2013.
Amid the gloom (or delight, depending on your perspective) over the disappointing 2011 sales of the Volt and LEAF, let us not forget that both vehicles are still very much in the test marketing phase. Nissan, for one, has a detailed plan for bringing its new EV into full-scale production. At this week’s Geneva Motor Show, the company announced a list of measures to prepare the European market for higher volume leading up to the start of production in England in 2013.
Paul Willcox, Nissan's European Sales and Marketing chief, said, “This is a big year for the Nissan LEAF in Europe and we are committed to creating an environment for electric mobility to thrive across the continent. 2011 was a huge year for us and with all of these significant and tangible improvements to infrastructure, dealer network, incentives, and production we are looking forward to significant growth in the lead up to European Production.”
Today the LEAF is on sale at 110 dealers in 14 markets across Europe. By the end of March 2013, that will grow to over 1,000 dealers in 24 markets, and all Nissan dealers will be equipped with charging stations.
Nissan’s own quick charger, which it launched in Europe In 2011, can charge any CHAdeMO-compliant vehicle to 80% capacity in 30 minutes. It’s also “AC ready” to support EVs from Renault that use 43-kW AC quick charge standards. This year, Nissan will give away 400 of its chargers to various cities and regions in Europe, and it has made an agreement with five major utilities to speed up charger installations. The company expects to see thousands of the power sticks in Europe in 2012, and tens of thousands by 2015.
Nissan will start producing batteries at its plant in Sunderland, England, during the first half of 2012, and will begin building LEAFs there in 2013. Building the car in the UK will reduce lead times, mitigate currency fluctuations and reduce the carbon footprint of bringing the car to European customers.