Nissan announces £1 billion EV Hub
Nissan has announced big plans to create a “a world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem” in Sunderland, representing a £1 billion investment. Named Nissan EV36Zero, it includes a ‘Gigafactory’ able to manufacture state of the art batteries, production facilities to build electric models and a ‘Microgrid’ that can deliver 100 per cent clean energy across the site.
The facility will manufacture the successor to the Nissan Leaf, and is expected to create around 900 jobs at Nissan and 750 jobs at its battery partner Envision AESC. The changes are also expected to cascade to help secure more than 4,500 jobs in the UK supply chain. Nissan will invest up to £423 million on the next-generation electric crossover, based on the CMF-EV platform. With the latest battery technology and styling, Nissan hopes it will be responsible for ‘making the switch to electric driving even more accessible’. The plant will be able to produce 100,000 units of the new electric crossover annually.
It has also been announced that the battery ‘Gigafactory’ will have an initial capacity of around 9GWh, but the site has the potential for this to be expanded to 35GWh in future. According to Nissan, the plant will make batteries more cost competitive, and a new ‘Gen5’ battery cell will be 30 per cent more energy dense, improving range and efficiency.
Envision established the first battery plant in Sunderland in 2012 and has supplied batteries for UK-built Nissan Leaf and eNV200 models for almost a decade. It will now invest £450 million to create the UK’s first ‘Gigafactory’ adjacent to the Nissan plant, powered by renewable energy. Its ramp up from 9GWh capacity to 25GWh by 2030 has the potential to create up to 4,500 new jobs and a planned future investment of £1.8 billion.
The ‘Microgrid’ planned for the site will use second life EV batteries to store up to 1MW of energy, which is planned to save 55,000 tonnes of carbon each year. The setup will allow excess energy captured during daylight hours to be stored for use at other times, and to help balance demand. Led by Sunderland City Council, the project could add as many as ten solar farms to the existing Nissan wind and solar farms, with up to 132MW generation. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “Commitments like these exemplify our ability to create hundreds of green jobs and boost British industry, whilst also allowing people to travel in an affordable and sustainable way so we can eliminate our contributions to climate change”