Nissan Sunderland Embarks on £2 Billion Electric Future: Investment Details Unveiled
Nissan is spearheading a monumental £2 billion investment in its Sunderland car plant, solidifying its commitment to the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. This groundbreaking move involves the production of two new electric models at the Sunderland site, accompanied by the establishment of a third battery factory in the UK.
The Japanese automaker is set to inject up to £1.12 billion into manufacturing electric replacements for its popular Qashqai and Juke models, currently produced alongside the electric Leaf at the Sunderland facility in the north-east of England. This significant investment demonstrates Nissan's strategic focus on advancing its electric vehicle portfolio.
The remaining portion of the £2 billion investment will be allocated to the construction of the new battery factory and the necessary energy infrastructure. Crucially, the investment is anticipated to be supplemented by China's Envision, the battery supplier for Nissan. Envision, through its subsidiary AESC, already operates a substantial battery plant in Sunderland, with plans underway for a second factory on the same site. The proposed third factory is slated for construction on a supplier park adjacent to the Sunderland plant.
AESC Chair Lei Zhang highlighted the initiation of a "strategic feasibility study" to expand gigafactory operations in Sunderland, aligning with the increasing demand for batteries from Nissan.
Government funding, potentially reaching hundreds of millions of pounds, is anticipated to play a pivotal role in supporting this transformative investment. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed the move as "a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry," recognizing Nissan's Sunderland plant as the largest car production facility in the UK.
The announcement brings Nissan and Envision's total investment in new electric cars and batteries in the UK to an impressive £3 billion. Mike Hawes, CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, described it as "tremendous news" that solidifies Britain's standing as a competitive hub for electric vehicle production.
The investment aligns with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's recent unveiling of £2 billion in funding to facilitate the UK's automotive industry's transition to electric vehicles. Nissan's commitment to an additional £30 million investment in its research facility at Cranfield in Bedfordshire further emphasizes its dedication to innovation and the development of future models.
Nissan's CEO, Makoto Uchida, highlighted the significance of this investment, positioning the Sunderland factory "at the heart" of the company's future plans. With the commitment to sell only electric vehicles in Europe by the end of the decade, Nissan's investment underscores its acceleration toward a new era in automotive excellence, solidifying its pivotal role in the electric vehicle revolution.
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