Leaves are not long in this world as they will indirectly be replaced by crosses around the middle of the decade. Before that happens, this little hatchback is celebrating an important production milestone in the UK. The factory in Sunderland has put together 250,000 unitsth vehicles, and to mark the occasion, Nissan is putting the Leaf’s vehicle-to-grid charging capabilities to good use just in time for the festive season.
The lights on the 32-foot-tall (nearly 10 meters) majestic Christmas tree are extinguished by the battery pack inside the Leaf. It’s worth noting that Nissan’s EV is the first in the industry to power external devices. In 2014, two years after the first generation model went on sale, a vehicle-to-home function was added.
As for what the future holds for Leaf, it’s not looking good. Back in July, Automotive News claims production will end in 2025. In October 2021, Nissan Europe boss Guillaume Cartier told Car an indirect replacement will be in the form of an electric crossover produced at the same Sunderland plant around the middle of this decade.
Its successor will use the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV platform, which already underpins the larger Ariya and its sister model, the Megane E-Tech. The upcoming model will be part of Nissan’s EV36Zero initiative to spend £1 billion on the Sunderland plant and turn it into “the world’s first EV manufacturing ecosystem.” Of the total, £423 million will be invested in bringing the crossover to market with an annual production volume of up to 100,000 units.
It’s unclear at this point whether to retain the “Leaf” moniker or whether the Japanese brand has decided to start with a different designation. Given the name’s longevity, it seems unlikely it would just be dropped. The aforementioned Megane E-Tech was named after ICE-powered cars for decades as the French brand thought it would be wrong to abandon its familiar badge.