Nissan commits to UK EV production and gigafactory

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Nissan has confirmed it will construct Nissan EV36Zero, a US$1.4bn flagship electric vehicle (EV) hub to create an EV manufacturing ecosystem at its plant in Sunderland, UK.

The project has been launched with an initial US$1.4bn investment by Nissan and its partners Envision AESC, which develops battery technology, and Sunderland City Council. Comprised of three interconnected initiatives, Nissan EV36Zero brings together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production, which the company says sets a blueprint for the future of the automotive industry.

Nissan president and CEO, Makoto Uchida, said, “This project comes as part of Nissan’s pioneering efforts to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the entire lifecycle of our products. Our comprehensive approach includes not only the development and production of EVs but also the use of onboard batteries as energy storage and their reuse for secondary purposes. Our announcement 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 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.”

Supporting this new model allocation, Envision AESC will invest US$620m to build the UK’s first gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) adjacent to the Nissan plant, powered by renewable energy and pioneering next-generation battery technology. It says it will deploy integrated AIoT smart technology to monitor and optimize energy consumption, manufacturing and maintenance at the new factory, enabling it to rapidly increase production and provide batteries to power up to 100,000 Nissan electric vehicles a year.

As part of the development, Nissan will invest up to US$582.9m to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK. Building on the company’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.

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 forecast production capacity of up to 100,000 units to be installed.

Envision already owns and operates Europe’s first battery plant, established in Sunderland in 2012 for the localization of Nissan LEAF battery production. The factory’s UK team has nine years’ expertise in supplying batteries to the Nissan LEAF and e-NV200, having produced enough cells, modules and packs to power over 180,000 electric vehicles in 44 countries.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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