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Nissan confirms plans for £1bn electric vehicle battery gigafactory in Sunderland

The site is 20 miles away from the proposed site of another planned gigafactory being developed by another company, battery startup Britishvolt

A new £1bn electric vehicle battery gigafactory will be built in northeast England by Nissan and its partners to support the production of the carmaker’s new all-electric SUV in the UK.

The EV36Zero electric vehicle hub will be located in Sunderland, with a 9GW battery gigafactory centred around the Japanese group’s existing car plant there. It will be powered by a new renewable energy ‘microgrid’ developed by Sunderland City Council and a battery storage facility using used car batteries.

It will invest £423mln into the new hub and Chinese-owned partner Envision AESC, which owns and operates an existing battery production in Sunderland for the Nissan LEAF, will invest £450mln.

The formal planning process is now beginning with Sunderland City Council for an initial 9GWh plant, Nissan said, with potential future investment of £1.8bn by Envision AESC by 2030 and potential on site for up to 35GWh.

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, Nissan said.

“This commitment will power Nissan’s new vehicles, supporting the continued localisation 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,” it said.

As part of the £1bn announcement, Nissan said it is building on its worldwide success with its LEAF model with a “next-generation” crossover EV produced in the UK and exported to Europe, with a forecasted production capacity of up to 100,000 units to be installed. No date was given for the new car’s launch.

Production of the new car 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 Japanese company said.

The new gigafactory will create 750 jobs and safeguard the jobs of 300 current employees.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The cars made in this plant, using batteries made just down the road at the UK’s first at scale gigafactory, will have a huge role to play as we transition away from petrol and diesel cars and kick-start a domestic electric vehicle manufacturing base.”

It will be 20 miles away from the proposed site of another planned gigafactory being developed by another company, battery startup Britishvolt.

Britishvolt in December unveiled plans to build the £2.6bn plant on the site of the old Blyth Power Station in the Wansbeck district of Northumberland, with an intention to break ground this summer and begin production of lithium-ion batteries within three years.

It said last month that it “remains on-track” to start production of batteries for automotive applications by the end of 2023, supported by R&D from Durham, Newcastle and Northumbria universities.

Read More: Nissan confirms plans for £1bn electric vehicle battery gigafactory in Sunderland

2021-07-01 03:22:00

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