Japanese car maker to invest £3 billion as it confirms all three models made at UK plant will go 100 percent electric
Nissan has announced a sizeable investment in the United Kingdom, as it expands its manufacturing capacity at its Sunderland factory.
The Japanese car maker announced a second and three electric model for UK production, with all all three models (Nissan Qashqai, Nissan JUKE, Nissan LEAF) made at its UK plant to go 100 percent electric. The LEAF of course was already an EV.
Nissan said that its Sunderland location (dubbed the EV36Zero hub) will, thanks to a up to £3 billion ($3.78bn) investment, be made up of “three gigafactories” which it said is “great news for Nissan’s 7,000 UK employees and the 30,000 jobs supported in the UK supply chain.”
Nissan had announced back in July 2021 that Sunderland host the “Nissan EV36Zero, a £1 billion flagship Electric Vehicle (EV) Hub creating a world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem.”
But now it has built on that initial investment, with the news that Nissan is now converting it’s flagship Qashqai and JUKE crossovers to full electric.
The car maker also confirmed that the third vehicle planned for UK production will be the next-generation (i.e replacement) Nissan LEAF – due in 2026 according to some media reports.
Nissan said both vehicle and battery manufacturing will be powered by the EV36Zero Microgrid, which will incorporate the wind and solar farms at Nissan and will have the capability to deliver 100 percent renewable electricity to Nissan and its neighbouring suppliers.
“Exciting, electric vehicles are at the heart of our plans to achieve carbon neutrality,” said Nissan President and CEO Makoto Uchida. “With electric versions of our core European models on the way, we are accelerating towards a new era for Nissan, for industry and for our customers.”
Nissan said it will incorporate the existing Nissan wind and solar farms, including Nissan’s brand new 20MW solar farm, into the new gigafactories.
“The EV36Zero project puts our Sunderland plant, Britain’s biggest ever car factory, at the heart of our future vision,” said Uchida”. It means our UK team will be designing, engineering and manufacturing the vehicles of the future, driving us towards an all-electric future for Nissan in Europe.”
All of Europe
Nissan has also confirmed that all its new cars in Europe from now will be fully electric, and that it expects its passenger car line-up in Europe to be 100 percent electric by 2030.
“Nissan’s investment is a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry, which already contributes a massive £71 billion a year to our economy,” said UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. “This venture will no doubt secure Sunderland’s future as the UK’s Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing.”
“Making the UK the best place to do business is at the heart of our economic plan,” said the Prime Minister. “We will continue to back businesses like Nissan to expand and grow their roots in the UK every step of the way as we make the right long term decisions for a brighter future.”
Nissan’s latest investment includes up to £1.12bn into its UK operations and wider supply chain for R&D and manufacturing of the two new EV models announced, including facility and manufacturing process improvements, skills training, and tooling for suppliers.
This follows the £423m investment announced by Nissan in the first phase of EV36Zero for the first future EV.
“Nissan has a proud history in car manufacturing in Sunderland and their continued commitment to the UK shows how our support for business is getting results – helping create thousands of jobs and solidifying Britain’s place as the world’s 8th largest manufacturer,” said UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.
The Associated Press reported that earlier this year, BMW said it would invest £600 million into its Mini factory in Oxford, England, to start making electric vehicles by 2026.
Meanwhile Jaguar Land Rover (owned by India’s Tata Sons) is building a £4 billion EV battery factory in the UK that’s expected to produce about 40 gigawatt hours of battery cells every year, enough to provide half the UK’s electric vehicle batteries.
Stellantis, parent company of British automaker Vauxhall, meanwhile is investing £100 million to make electric vans and cars in northwestern England.