Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

First EVs making their way to European customers

The first shipment of Nissan Leafs in Europe arrived in the United Kingdom February 3, Nissan has confirmed.

The cars, which are among the first global mass-produced electric vehicles, rolled off a specially-constructed fuel efficient car carrier and will be distributed to the Leaf's first customers in the UK and Ireland in the coming days.

The arrival also marked the end of the maiden voyage of 'City of St Petersburg', the energy-saving car carrier Nissan intends to use to export the Leafs from its English factory when European production begins in 2013.

For now, the first shipment of Leafs was produced in Japan at Nissan's Oppama plant, which is struggling to meet demand for the vehicles in Europe, Japan and the United States, where it launched in December.

Only 67 of the vehicles were on board the first shipment, although many more are expected to arrive in the coming weeks to fulfill orders that have been placed in the European launch markets of the UK, Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands.

A total of 27,000 orders of the vehicle have been taken by Nissan around the world.

Last week, Mitsubishi Motors launched its first official EV sales center in the UK in London, handing over its i-MiEV vehicle to its first London-based customers.