The future of Sunderland’s Nissan car plant has been secured with the unveiling of a £1 billion plan to create a neighbouring battery-producing ‘gigafactory’ and produce the Japanese brand’s next EV.
The plan to create what Nissan has branded the ‘EV36Zero Electric Vehicle (EV) Hub’ is the result of a partnership which also includes funding from the UK Government and Envision AESC, which will develop the new 9GWh gigafactory.
Nissan’s plans to add to its existing Leaf production at Sunderland with its next-generation electric vehicle (EV) are expected to create 909 jobs, with a further 4,500 to be created in the supply chain as a result of the wider plan.
Of the £1bn overall investment in the Sunderland plan, Nissan would be investing up to £423m to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK.
Envision's gigafactory will aim to produce enough batteries for 100,000 Nissan EVs each year and will create 750 new jobs and secure 300 existing roles.
Nissan unveiled its new Ariya SUV in 2020 and will bring the 310-mile range addition to its EV line-up to dealerships this year.
Unveiling Nissan EV36Zero at the Sunderland Plant today, Nissan's chief operating officer, Ashwani Gupta, said: "This is a landmark day for Nissan, our partners, the UK and the automotive industry as a whole. Nissan EV36Zero will transform the idea of what is possible for our industry and set a roadmap for the future for all.
"We reached a new frontier with the Nissan Leaf, the world's first mass-market all-electric vehicle. Now, with our partners, Nissan will pioneer the next phase of the automotive industry as we accelerate towards full electrification and carbon neutrality."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Nissan's announcement was "a major vote of confidence in the UK" and "a pivotal moment in our electric vehicle revolution".
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “Today’s announcement of new investment into battery production in Sunderland is great news for the sector, the region and all those employed locally.
“It also demonstrates the UK automotive industry’s commitment to net zero and that the transition to these new electrified vehicles can be ‘made In Britain’.
“If we are to build one million electric vehicles by 2030, however, we need more such commitments, with at least 60GWh of gigafactory capacity in this country by the end of the decade.
“The future competitiveness of our industry depends on securing these investments but also wider support for manufacturing.
“We need a Build Back Better Fund to help manufacturing transformation, as well as a plan for charging infrastructure that will assure consumers to make the switch to these vehicles.”
Nissan's EV36Zero infographic was screened as part of today's gigafactory and EV production plan unveil this morning: