The successor to the Nissan Leaf will enter production at the automaker's factory in Sunderland, UK in 2026.
The announcement was made by the Japanese automaker in a submission to a UK government committee on battery manufacturing seen by Autocar. In the document, Nissan also said it prepares for the "vast majority" of the cars it builds to be EVs by 2028.
Nissan first announced that the Leaf electric hatchback would be replaced by a new electric crossover in 2021, but the company hadn't provided a definitive date for the start of production until now.
"The Leaf successor vehicle will enter production in 2026," Nissan said in its submission to the BEIS select committee enquiry.
This may suggest the second-generation Nissan Leaf will soldier on until then, although it will be almost 10 years old by the time its successor debuts. Of course, Nissan could also choose to retire the Leaf sooner.
Gallery: Nissan Chill-Out concept
In November 2021, the automaker announced its long-term electrification strategy called Nissan Ambition 2030, revealing plans to launch 23 new electrified models, including 15 new EVs by the end of the decade.
Nissan previewed four of the upcoming EVs with concept vehicles, one of which was described as a "near-future EV" – the Nissan Chill-Out study. A preview of the Leaf successor, the crossover coupe concept was built on the CMF-EV platform and featured the e-4ORCE dual-motor AWD powertrain – both also used by the Nissan Ariya.
Nissan said the Chill-Out delivers "high levels of comfort and an energizing driving experience," and described it as a "mobile haven" thanks to its tech-laden, comfortable interior.
Besides adopting a completely different body style, the Nissan Leaf successor will also sport very different styling. On the outside, the Chill-Out concept features smooth surfaces and configurable front and rear lighting areas, while the interior is futuristic and features a retractable steering wheel and lounge-like ambiance, hinting at fully autonomous capabilities.
Patent images from the European patent database surfaced in June 2022, showing a very similar vehicle to the Chill-Out concept. This served as indirect confirmation that Nissan is putting it into production with minimal changes, at least as far as the exterior is concerned.