Production of the new Nissan Leaf is getting closer. According to Electrek, work on the second generation of the Japanese manufacturer's best-selling electric car will begin in March 2025 at the Sunderland plant in the UK.

Overall, the new Leaf project is part of a £2.9 billion investment plan announced by Nissan last November. Among other things, this will be just the first in a series of new models from the brand, which is also working on electric versions of the Qashqai and Juke, to follow in subsequent years.

The challenges

According to Alan Johnson, the company's vice-president of regional production, the dedicated UK project "is not without its drawbacks." "It's a real challenge," he told Autocar, adding that building electric vehicles in the UK "can work," but only if "all the stars align."

Nissan Chill Out Concept (2011)

Nissan Chill Out Concept (2011)

Johnson referred to the lack of "good, solid policies" and the "difficulties in building a regional supply chain." According to Johnson, the biggest challenge is the cost of energy: "We pay sometimes twice what we pay in continental Europe," the Japanese brand manager said.

The first information

To combat the higher energy costs, Nissan is increasing the use of renewable energy in the plant. About 20 per cent of the plant's energy consumption (about 250 MW per week) is generated by on-site wind and solar power plants.

Nissan has plans to reach 100 per cent renewable energy, but no deadline has been set. The modernisation of the plant includes a new battery factory dedicated to the next-generation Leaf and another gigafactory not far away.

But what will this new Nissan look like? It should be inspired by the Chill-Out concept and have a crossover coupe shape, although it will be more compact than the Qashqai. According to other unofficial sources, the Leaf will be styled like a 'mini Ariya'. We just have to wait for more updates from Japan (and the UK).

Gallery: 2011 Nissan Chill Out Concept