Electric Leaf powers Christmas tree

Nissan Sunderland's Christmas lights powered by one of their Leaf electric cars. Picture by David Wood
David Roy

CHRISTMAS trees have needles, not leaves – except for the one at the Nissan Sunderland Plant in England, which has both.

That's because this year the lights on the factory Christmas tree are being powered by one of its very own battery-powered products.

Yes, a Nissan Leaf is being used to supply the juice to the decorations on the factory's festive foilage to celebrate the 250,000th Leaf to roll off the UK production line. The lights on the 32-foot Christmas tree and its shimmering reindeer are being powered by the vehicle's battery, using V2X technology.

Alan Johnson, vice president manufacturing at Nissan Sunderland Plant, said: "Passing a quarter of a million Nissan Leaf is a tremendous milestone, and demonstrates the electric vehicle manufacturing expertise we have built up at our plant over the past decade.

"This year we have completely electrified the plant's line-up with the new versions of Qashqai and Juke launched, so lighting up the Christmas tree with our original EV is a spectacular and appropriate way to end 2022."

The publicity stunt highlights the Leaf's vehicle-to-grid capability, which allows owners to store electricity in their vehicle's battery and feed it to the grid, their home – or even their Christmas tree.

Built in Sunderland for more than a decade, the Nissan Leaf was the world's first mass-market electric vehicle. The Nissan Qashqai, the Japanese company's original crossover, is now offered with Nissan's unique e-Power system – which uses a petrol engine to charge a battery which drives an electric motor – a first for the company in Europe, while the Nissan Juke is now equipped with an advanced hybrid powertrain.

Last year, Nissan's Sunderland Plant was announced as the home of EV36ZERO, a £1bn flagship electric vehicle manufacturing ecosystem bringing together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production.