Following months of speculation, Nissan has finally confirmed on July 1 that a new electric vehicle hub is set to be developed in Sunderland.
The Japanese firm company announced a £1billion investment to create a world-first Electric Vehicle manufacturing ecosystem to expand the current Sunderland site that has operated since 1986. The new site will be built on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), adjacent to the current Sunderland site. Labelled as the EV36Zero hub, Nissan’s venture is to create an all-around ‘360 degrees’ zero emission experience for motoring.
This £1billion investment has three core initiatives:
- Building a new gigafactory.
- Producing Nissan’s new-generation all-electric vehicles in Sunderland.
- Creation of a “microgrid” including an addition of 10 new solar farms to power the project.
Construction of Gigafactory
Nissan’s EV36Zero project received a £450 million investment for its gigafactory construction from its current partner Envision-AESC, one of the global leaders in recycled battery technology. Envision-AESC has been supplying the company with batteries for the Leaf and eNV200 for the past 12 years in the UK.
Not only will the new gigafactory provide batteries to power up to 100, 000 Nissan electric vehicles a year, but the site will also help bring down transporting transmission that will contribute to the company’s incentive to be carbon neutral by 2040.
Carbon Neutral Goal
Alongside the pledge to make the company carbon neutral, Sunderland City Council will be providing a 100% renewable microgrid to save at least 55,000 tonnes of carbon per year. This step of the EV36Zero project will see the company develop an additional 10 solar farms that are set to produce 132MW of renewable energy, alongside Nissan’s existing solar and wind farms.
All-electric Vehicle Prospect
A large chunk of their budget (£423 million) will contribute to the production of a new all-electric crossover, which is set to be the successor of the Nissan Leaf – the current electric hatchback that has been manufactured in the UK since 2012.
Given the worldwide success of Nissan’s current crossover range, the manufacturing has promised these next-generation vehicles to have batteries that will give a better range to enhance consumer’s experience, making the switch over to electric vehicles being more accessible than ever.
UK Jobs Created
Not only will the hub bring down the costs of production for electric vehicle batteries, but over 6000 jobs will be created for the UK’s automotive industry.
The UK Government has identified the production of electric batteries as a key area of growth, hence their investment into Nissan’s plans. The UK Prime Minister stated this investment “is a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly-skilled workers in the North East.”
With a target to have EV36Zero operational by 2024, the project is a great initiative to push forward the adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy within the British automotive industry.
To find out about our selection of the new Nissan’s models – including the All-New Qashqai – head over to our New Cars – or read about our article on the upcoming new update Nissan X-Trail in our blog post.