Nissan Ends Sunderland Production Of Leaf EV

Nissan's Leaf EV. Image credit: Nissan

Nissan ends production in Sunderland of Leaf EV as it prepares new lineup, cuts off app access for older Leaf models

Nissan has ended the production of its pioneering Leaf electric vehicle at its Sunderland plant as it prepares a new lineup of all-electric vehicles.

The company also said it was cutting off access to its Leaf app for older vehicles, a decision that reportedly angered users.

The Leaf was the first mass-market EV whan it launched in 2010, and became the top-selling all-electric vehicle until Tesla took over the No. 1 spot in 2015 – to be in turn surpassed by China’s BYD in January.

More than 280,000 of the 650,000 Leaf models sold worldwide were built in Nissan’s Sunderland plant, which began production in 2013.

bt electric vehicle ev charging point 02 nissan
Image credit: BT Group

Next-gen EV models

The facility is now being upgraded to build all-electric Qashqai and Juke models, as well as a next-generation Leaf expected to be announced next year.

In preparation for this, production of the Leaf ended last week at the Sunderland plant, the Sunderland Echo reported.

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

Nissan said it plans for all new cars in Europe to be fully electric as it works toward an all-EV lineup by 2030.

Leaf app shutoff

Separately, the company confirmed it is cutting off access to the Leaf app for about 3,000 Leaf and e-NV200 cars made before 2016.

It said the move was in anticipation of the shutoff of 2G networks int he UK – although carriers have until 2033 to switch off those networks, and no carrier has yet done so.

The app allows users to control key functions, such as heating and setting the vehicle to charge during times when electricity is cheaper, directly from a smartphone.

“The NissanConnect EV app currently linked to Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 vehicles produced up until 2016 will shut down from 1 April 2024 in preparation of the 2G technology sunset,” Nissan said in a statement.

It said owners can access features such as climate control and charging timers directly from the car’s navigation system.

Short notice

Owners told the BBC they were surprised to be given one month’s notice for the removal of a key feature.

“I would have expected at least six months, 12 months, something like that, to arrange alternatives,” Max Siegieda, a 2013 Nissan Leaf owner in Manchester, told the BBC. “This is a key feature of the car that’s going away.”