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3 minute read - 24th November 2023

Nissan confirms three electric models and £3bn investment for Sunderland plant

Nissan has announced plans for a zero emissions future, with confirmation that all three models made at its UK plant will go 100% electric. New all-electric versions of Nissan’s Qashqai and Juke crossovers with be produced at Sunderland, alongside the next-generation of the Nissan LEAF.

In addition to its current Sunderland plant, and a second gigafactory being built by its partner AESC, a third gigafactory will be required to support future production. The move means its EV36Zero hub in Sunderland, Nissan’s blueprint for future manufacturing, will consist of three electric vehicles, three gigafactories and up to £3bn of investment – supporting Nissan’s 7,000 UK employees and 30,000 jobs in the wider UK supply chain.

Both vehicle and battery manufacturing will be powered by the EV36Zero Microgrid, which will incorporate the wind and solar farms at Nissan and will have the capability to deliver 100% renewable electricity to Nissan and its neighbouring suppliers.

Nissan has confirmed it will invest a total of up to £3bn and produce three all-electric models at its Sunderland plant / Picture: Nissan GB

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Makoto Uchida, Nissan president and CEO, said: “Exciting, electric vehicles are at the heart of our plans to achieve carbon neutrality. With electric versions of our core European models on the way, we are accelerating towards a new era for Nissan, for industry and for our customers. The EV36Zero project puts our Sunderland plant, Britain’s biggest ever car factory, at the heart of our future vision. It means our UK team will be designing, engineering and manufacturing the vehicles of the future, driving us towards an all-electric future for Nissan in Europe.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, added: “Nissan’s investment is a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry, which already contributes a massive £71 billion a year to our economy. This venture will no doubt secure Sunderland’s future as the UK’s Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing. Making the UK the best place to do business is at the heart of our economic plan. We will continue to back businesses like Nissan to expand and grow their roots in the UK every step of the way as we make the right long term decisions for a brighter future.”

Nissan’s investment includes up to £1.12bn into its UK operations and wider supply chain for R&D and manufacturing of the two new models, including facility and manufacturing process improvements, skills training, and tooling for suppliers.

The future for all three models (Qashqai, Juke and LEAF) currently manufactured in Nissan Sunderland Plant has been secured / Picture: Nissan GB

The announcement builds on the initial £1bn investment by Nissan and its partners to create EV36Zero, transforming its Sunderland manufacturing facility and creating a world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem.

Complementing vehicle and battery production is the Sunderland City Council-initiated Microgrid project, which will have the capability to deliver 100% renewable electricity to Nissan and its neighbouring suppliers, incorporating the existing Nissan wind and solar farms, including Nissan’s brand new 20MW solar farm.

The additional two models, alongside an additional gigafactory and further investment for infrastructure projects, will result in a total new investment of up to £2bn. It means Nissan’s plans for the future electric versions of Qashqai, Juke, and the replacement for LEAF, will enable up to a £3bn investment in the UK.

In addition, the UK government has awarded £15m of funding for a £30m collaborative project led by Nissan. It will strengthen the technical expertise and R&D zero emission vehicle capability of the Nissan Technical Centre (NTCE) in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, increasing opportunities for securing additional UK R&D investment in future vehicle models.

Expansion of Nissan’s EV36Zero hub will require a third gigafactory to support UK’s biggest car plant / Picture: Nissan GB

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