Nissan Announces Electric Car Expansion.
The BBC is reporting that Nissan has announced a major expansion of electric vehicle production at its car plant in Sunderland which will create 1,650 new jobs. The Japanese carmaker says it will build its new-generation all-electric model at the site.
Its partner, Envision AESC, will also build a new electric battery plant.
The new electric vehicle hub, launched with £1bn worth of investment, will also support thousands of jobs in the UK supply chain. Of that £1bn, Nissan said it would invest up to £423m to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK, building on the success of its existing electric car, the Leaf.
Nissan Announces Electric Car Expansion in Sunderland
Production of the new model will create 909 new jobs and more than 4,500 in its UK supply chain. Other production locations have not yet been confirmed. More details about the new vehicle will be released closer to the car’s launch date.
Envision’s new gigafactory will eventually provide batteries to power up to 100,000 Nissan electric vehicles a year. It will create 750 new jobs and secure 300 existing roles.
It is hoped the new plant will operational in time for 2024, when the level of UK-made components in cars manufactured in the UK is required to start increasing, in line with the terms of the UK’s trade deal with the EU.
The majority of Nissan’s Sunderland-assembled cars are sold in the EU.
From 2030, sales of new cars and vans powered solely by petrol or diesel will be banned in the UK. However, some hybrids will still be allowed.
Ahead of the Brexit deal, Nissan had warned over the future of the Sunderland plant if the government was unable to secure an agreement with the EU.
Nissan’s chief operating officer, Ashwani Gupta, told the BBC: “The key success factor for Brexit has always been trade-friendly business conditions to sustain our business not only in the UK but in the whole of Europe and thanks to Brexit, Nissan is moving forward to use Brexit as an opportunity.”
He declined to say how much money the UK government would contribute to the expansion plan, stating that talks were continuing. “But, for sure, without the government support it would have not been possible,” he said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Nissan’s announcement was “a major vote of confidence in the UK” and “a pivotal moment in our electric vehicle revolution”.
The government is contributing to the cost of the expansion, but a precise figure has not been disclosed.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said the announcement was “great news for the sector, the region and all those employed locally”.
“It also demonstrates the UK automotive industry’s commitment to net-zero and that the transition to these new electrified vehicles can be ‘made in Britain’.”
Earlier this week, a report commissioned by the SMMT said a series of factories producing electric car batteries need to be built in the UK to secure the future of the country’s automotive industry. It said the government should announce a “binding target” of 60-gigawatt hours of battery capacity to be in place by 2030.