Nissan has announced plans for a new battery gigafactory that will enable its operation in Sunderland to greatly increase production of EVs.
The £1bn battery plant will create 900 jobs at Nissan plus 750 at Chinese partner Envision and a total of 6,200 jobs including suppliers.
Envision currently produces lithium-ion batteries for Nissan’s Leaf model at Sunderland in a plant with capacity for 1.7 gigawatt hours (GWh) per-year.
The new larger factory is expected to have capacity for 9GWh, able to produce batteries for up to 100,000 vehicles a year.
Nissan is also investing £432m to produce the new EV36Zero model in the UK which it says will build on the success of the Leaf models produced at Sunderland.
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.”
Mike Hawes, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chief executive, added, “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.”