Nissan reveals details of £1bn Sunderland gigafactory

Nissan reveals details of £1bn Sunderland gigafactory


Nissan has today unveiled details of a new battery ‘gigafactory’ that will enable its Sunderland car plant to massively increase production of electric vehicles. Nissan EV36Zero, as the Japanese carmaker calls it, is a £1 billion flagship Electric Vehicle (EV) Hub that will, according to Nissan, create a world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem.

Built in partnership with Chinese manufacturer Envision, Nissan said the £1bn battery plant will create 900 jobs at Nissan and 750 at Envision. When the overall impact on suppliers is taken into account, Nissan says it will create 6,200 jobs overall.

The transformational project has been launched with an initial £1bn investment by Nissan, alongside its partners Envision AESC, a global player in world-leading battery technology, and Sunderland City Council. Comprised of three interconnected initiatives, Nissan EV36Zero brings together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production, setting a blueprint for the future of the automotive industry.

“This project comes as part of Nissan’s pioneering efforts to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the entire lifecycle of our products,” said Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer, 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.”

Envision AESC, the battery arm of global green tech company Envision Group, will deploy integrated AIoT smart technology to monitor and optimize energy consumption, manufacturing and maintenance at its new gigafactory, enabling it 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. Building on Nissan’s expertise in crossovers and the worldwide success of the Nissan LEAF, it promises next-generation vehicle styling, efficiency and battery technology, making the switch to electric driving even more accessible.

“This is positive news for the UK,” said Zap-Map COO & Co-founder Melanie Shufflebotham. “Nissan has been at the forefront of the electric vehicle transition and this new factory will help to ensure there are enough EVs to meet soaring levels of demand.”

Designed for global markets, UK production will be exported to the European markets traditionally served by Nissan’s Sunderland plant. The new crossover will be built on the Alliance CMF-EV platform, with a forecasted production capacity of up to 100,000 units to be installed.

nissan reveals details sunderland gigafactory

Nissan will build on its expertise in crossovers and the success of the Nissan LEAF.

“The next step is continue investment in new EV charging infrastructure and to simplify the charging experience. Over 600 new rapid chargers have been added over the past six months. We need to scale-up these installations and ensure they are in the right locations to serve a new generation of EV drivers,” Shufflebotham continued.

The £1bn battery plant builds on Nissan’s historic 35 years of manufacturing in Sunderland. Looking ahead, the carmaker will be hoping that Nissan EV36Zero will transform the idea of what is possible in the industry and set a roadmap for the future.

“Our announcement today comes out of lengthy discussions held within our teams, and will greatly accelerate our efforts in Europe to achieve carbon neutrality. The experience and know-how gained through the project announced today will be shared globally, enhancing Nissan’s global competitiveness,” Uchida added.

The announcement hardly went unnoticed, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailing the investment from the Japanese manufacturer.

“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 Johnson.

“This is a pivotal moment in our electric vehicle revolution and securing its future for decades to come. 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.”