A New Leaf

The world’s first “affordable, mass-produced electric car” is to be built at a plant in Sunderland, northeast England. Called The Leaf, the five-seater, battery-powered hatchback, which will be able to travel up to 100 miles after being charged once, will be built from 2013, on the back of a £420m investement from Nissan.

The annoucement on thursday secured more than 2,000 jobs in the northeast. Production will start in Japan later this year.

“The world is at the dawn of a new era in automotive transport”, said Andy Palmer, Nissan’ssenior vice-president in charge of electric vehicles.

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