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Nissan unveils new EV, plans for battery gigafactory at Sunderland in UK; potentially up to 35 GWh

Nissan unveiled Nissan EV36Zero, a £1-billion flagship Electric Vehicle (EV) Hub —an EV manufacturing ecosystem—centered around its plant in Sunderland, UK. The project has been launched with an initial £1-billion (US$1.4-billion) investment by Nissan and its partners battery-maker Envision AESC and Sunderland City Council.

Comprising three interconnected initiatives, Nissan EV36Zero brings together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production.

New-generation electric crossover. As part of the £1-billion announcement, Nissan will invest up to £423 million to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK. Building on Nissan’s expertise in crossovers and the worldwide success of the Nissan LEAF, it promises next-generation vehicle styling, efficiency and battery technology.

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

Production in Sunderland will create 909 new jobs at the plant, and more than 4,500 in the UK supply chain, while safeguarding a further 75 R&D jobs. The transformational project takes the total capital investment by Nissan into the plant past £5bn, and also includes:

  • R&D at Nissan’s European Technical Centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire
  • Support for UK suppliers to transition to electric vehicles
  • Plant competitiveness and environmental improvements
  • Skills development in the Nissan workforce for future technologies

Other production locations have not yet been confirmed. More details about the new vehicle, including pricing and technology, will be released closer to the car's sales launch.

Next-generation EV batteries. Envision AESC already owns and operates Europe’s first battery plant in Sunderland, established in 2012 for the localization of Nissan LEAF battery production. The factory’s UK team has nine years’ expertise from supplying batteries to the Nissan LEAF and eNV200, having produced enough cells, modules and packs to power more than 180,000 electric vehicles in 44 countries, meeting global benchmark levels of quality, performance, safety, reliability and cost.

Supporting this new model allocation, Envision AESC will invest £450 million (US$621 million) to build the UK’s first gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), adjacent to the Nissan plant, powered by renewable energy.

The formal planning process is about to begin for the new gigafactory, which represents an initial 9 GWh plant, with potential future-phase investment of £1.8 billion (US$2.5 billion) by Envision AESC, generating up to 25 GWh and creating 4,500 new jobs in the region by 2030, with potential on site for up to 35 GWh.

The new plant will increase the cost-competitiveness of EV batteries produced in the UK, including through a new Gen5 battery cell with 30% more energy density which improves range and efficiency.

This commitment will power Nissan’s new vehicles, supporting the continued localization of vehicle parts and components with advanced technology. This will make batteries cheaper and EVs more accessible to a growing number of customers in the future.

Zero Emission Manufacturing. Sunderland City Council is leading a project that aims to deliver a 100% renewable electricity Microgrid. With the ability to incorporate the existing Nissan wind and solar farms, initial plans suggest there could be as many as ten solar farms created, with an anticipated 132 MW generation, and with a direct connection to renewable energy from the UK grid for firm supply to Nissan and automotive companies located on the adjacent International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).

Plans will continue to be developed in close discussion with potential private sector green investors.

This project is estimated to be an £80-million (US$110-million) investment and also includes plans for a 1 MW battery storage system using second-life Nissan EV/Envision AESC batteries, which will also allow for excess energy generated during daylight hours to be captured and used at another time, helping to balance demand on the grid. Additional infrastructure projects enabling the creation of the new EV Hub take the total initial investment above £1 billion.


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