Nissan’s Sunderland plant has started production on the new generation of the Leaf, the company’s extremely popular electric vehicle. The Sunderland plant will manufacturer all of Nissan’s best-selling electric models which are sold to European customers.

Nissan’s Europe Divisional Vice President for Manufacturing,Kevin Fitzpatrick, said: “Nissan led the way in introducing electric vehicles to Europe in 2011, and every year since then it’s been clear that more and more customers share our vision for the future of driving. We’re excited to start production in Sunderland and to bring the new Nissan LEAF to European markets from February.”

In addition to being able to cover 235 miles on a single charge, the new model Leaf also features technology such as the e-Pedal, which enables drivers to brake and accelerate using the same pedal. The LEAF 40kWh also features ProPILOT, enabling semi-autonomous driving as well as parking assistance.

The Leaf has sold in excess of 85,000 units across Europe since its launch in 2011 and this new model is likely to further establish Nissan’s already strong position in the electric market.