LONDON (Reuters) - Nissan’s British factory in Sunderland will make about 2,000 electric vehicles for ride-hailing firm Uber [UBER.UL] from the first half of this year, the Japanese carmaker said on Friday.
Sunderland, 70 miles northeast of London, is the British plant that makes Britain’s best-selling car - the Japanese-built Nissan Qashqai - but had been expected to become Nissan’s final home for electric vehicles.
A survey last year showed there was a lack of confidence among Britain’s car industry that any significant investment in electric car production would come.
“We are delighted to become the first manufacturer in the country to supply Uber with electric vehicles,” Yusuke Seta, Nissan UK’s VP of manufacturing said in a statement.
“This agreement can help increase demand for electric vehicles, adding to the thousands already produced by Nissan in Sunderland.”
The electric versions of the Leaf, Nissan’s global best-selling car, will be used by Uber to offer customers the option of zero-emission vehicles in more than 100 cities in 12 markets, the company said.
The Leaf was the world’s best-selling electric car in the first half of 2018, up 92 percent from a year earlier to 28,057 vehicles, according to research firm IHS Markit.