The Leaf is not long for this world as it'll be indirectly replaced by a crossover around the middle of the decade. Before that happens, the small hatchback is celebrating an important production milestone in the United Kingdom. The plant in Sunderland has assembled the 250,000th vehicle, 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 a stately Christmas tree that's 32 feet (nearly 10 meters) tall are being juiced up by the battery pack inside the Leaf. It's worth pointing out Nissan's EV was among 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 functionality was added.
As to what the future has in tow for the Leaf, it's not looking good. Back in July, Automotive News claimed production will come to an end by 2025. In October 2021, Nissan’s European boss, Guillaume Cartier, told Autocar an indirect replacement will take the shape of an electric crossover manufactured at the same Sunderland factory from around the middle of the decade.
Its successor will ride on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance's CMF-EV platform, which has already underpinned the larger Ariya and its sister model, the Megane E-Tech. The upcoming model will be part of the Nissan EV36Zero initiative to spend £1 billion at the Sunderland plant and turn it into the "world's first EV manufacturing ecosystem." Of the total amount, £423 million will be invested toward bringing the crossover to the market with an annual production volume of up to 100,000 units.
It's unclear at this point whether it will retain the "Leaf" moniker or the Japanese brand has decided to start fresh with a different designation. Given the name's longevity, it seems unlikely it'll be simply dropped. The aforementioned Megane E-Tech is named after decades of ICE-powered cars as the French brand figured it would be wrong to abandon the familiar badge.