Japanese carmaker Nissan has delivered some welcome news for post Brexit Britain, with a new ‘gigafactory’ that will make electric vehicle batteries.
Nissan announced that its record-breaking plant in Sunderland will play host to the “Nissan EV36Zero, a £1 billion flagship Electric Vehicle (EV) Hub creating a world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem.”
This hub will include a £1 billion ‘gigafactory’ that will produce batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The Japanese carmaker said the factory will be built in partnership with Chinese battery manufacturer Envision AESC.
The new projects announced represent 6,200 jobs at Nissan and its UK suppliers, including more than 900 new Nissan jobs and 750 new Envision AESC jobs at its new smart, low-carbon battery plant.
In the longer term, the project modernises and expands Nissan’s EV production capability in the UK.
“This project comes as part of Nissan’s pioneering efforts to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the entire lifecycle of our products,” explained Nissan President and CEO, Makoto Uchida. “Our comprehensive approach includes not only the development and production of EVs, but also the use of on-board batteries as energy storage and their reuse for secondary purposes.”
“Our announcement today comes out of lengthy discussions held within our teams, and will greatly accelerate our efforts in Europe to achieve carbon neutrality,” Uchida added. “The experience and know-how gained through the project announced today will be shared globally, enhancing Nissan’s global competitiveness.”
“Nissan will continue to leverage its strengths in electrification to become a company that continues to provide value to its customers and society,” Uchida concluded.
And the news was also welcomed by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
“Nissan’s announcement to build its new-generation all-electric vehicle in Sunderland, alongside a new gigafactory from Envision-AESC, is a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly-skilled workers in the North East,” said the Prime Minister.
“Building on over 30 years of history in the area, this is a pivotal moment in our electric vehicle revolution and securing its future for decades to come,” said Johnson. “Commitments like these exemplify our ability to create hundreds of green jobs and boost British industry, whilst also allowing people to travel in an affordable and sustainable way so we can eliminate our contributions to climate change.”
So what exactly is going to be involved in the new EV36Zero hub in Sunderland, which is set to become the largest battery ‘gigafactory’ in the UK.
Envision is to build a factory that will allow Nissan to rapidly increase production and provide batteries to power up to 100,000 Nissan electric vehicles a year.
As part of the £1 billion announcement, Nissan will invest up to £423 million to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK.
This will build on Nissan’s expertise in crossovers and the success of the Nissan LEAF.
The Sunderland hub will provide electric vehicles and batteries that will be exported to the European markets traditionally served by Nissan’s Sunderland plant.
The car maker said production in Sunderland will create 909 new jobs at the plant, and more than 4,500 in the UK supply chain, while safeguarding a further 75 R&D jobs.
The UK hub is not the only European gigafactory development.
Tesla is currently planning on opening its first European Gigafactory at a site near Berlin later this year.
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