Car giant Nissan will ignore moves by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to delay the switch to electric vehicles with an announcement that all of its new cars sold in Europe will be electric by 2030.
The Japanese firm has invested hundreds of millions to ramp up production of electric vehicles at its plant in Sunderland, as well as working with battery partner Envision AESC to increase production of power units on Wearside as well.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week said he would relax a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars in the UK that had been due to come in by 2030, moving the deadline instead to 2035. But Nissan, which has been at the forefront of mass-produced electric vehicles, has said it is sticking to the 2030 timeline and will have an “all-electric line-up in Europe” by that date.
Makoto Uchida, Nissan’s president and CEO said: “EV is the ultimate mobility solution. More than a million customers have already joined our journey and experienced the fun of a Nissan electric vehicle, and there is no turning back now.
“EVs powered by renewables are key to us achieving carbon neutrality, which is central to our Ambition 2030 vision. Nissan will make the switch to full electric by 2030 in Europe – we believe it is the right thing to do for our business, our customers and for the planet.”
Nissan unveiled its EV36Zero plan in 2021, working with Envision and Sunderland City Council to produce electric cars and batteries for the UK and European market with the use of renewable energy in the North East. Now it has announced an investment of €40m to its London design and R&D centres to focus even more on the development of electric vehicles.
Nissan has confirmed that it is developing a new electric vehicle that will serve as the replacement for the Micra, while a second electric vehicle will be built in Sunderland.
Guillaume Cartier, the company’s chairperson for the Africa, Middle-East, India, Europe and Oceania region, said: “As Europe accelerates towards EV, Nissan will continue to deliver the striking crossover design and driving excitement that our customers love. With breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will become even more accessible, and Nissan will continue to champion EV as the best way to provide cleaner, simpler and more affordable mobility.”
Mr Sunak has come under fire from both environmentalists and business leaders for watering down the UK’s commitment on the green transition. As well as moving back the deadline for the phasing out of new petrol and diesel cars, he also relaxed the timescale on switching to heat pumps as the main source of heating homes.