Nissan announced the details of the new battery “gigafactory,” which will allow its Sunderland car plant to increase the production of electric vehicles on a large scale.
The £1 billion battery factory, built in partnership with the Chinese manufacturer Envision, will create 900 jobs for Nissan and 750 jobs for Envision. This will mean that the Japanese automaker will have created an overall number of 6,200 jobs, when the impact on suppliers is included.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised Nissan’s investment as a “huge vote of confidence in the UK” after the government has provided some financial support to the automaker. The plant would become the biggest battery “gigafactory” in the UK.
The new plant will be larger, with an estimated capacity of 9GWh, enough to produce batteries for up to 100,000 vehicles per year.
The decision was welcomed by Britain’s car industry body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, but it said more was required for the UK to attain net-zero goals.
As part of the report, Nissan is investing £432m to construct a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK, which it says will build on the progress of the Leaf models already assembled at Sunderland.
“Nissan’s announcement is a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly-skilled workers in the North East” said PM Boris Johnson. He added, “Building on over 30 years of history in the area, this is a pivotal moment in our electric vehicle revolution and securing its future for decades to come.”
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.”
Nissan believes investing in battery technology post-Brexit will give it a competitive advantage over its rivals.