Nissan Motor Co placed a bet that Britain would supercharge its European electric future by pledging $1.4B with its Chinese partner to construct a massive battery plant that will power 100,000 vehicles a calendar year, including a new crossover vehicle.
The auto industry is facing the greatest technological shift in a century. It is racing to ensure that there are enough batteries to supply the factories that will produce the cleaner, more efficient electric cars of the future.
Five years after Brexit threatened to shut down the European market, Nissan has backed the 9 gigawatt hour (GWh) plant.
Nissan and Envision AESC, the Chinese partner of Nissan, and local governments in northeast England will invest 1 billion pounds to create 6,200 jobs at Sunderland’s plant and in British supply chain.
Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, stated that Nissan’s announcement of Sunderland as the location for its new-generation all electric vehicle is a significant vote of confidence in the UK, and in our highly-skilled workers from the North East.
“This is a crucial moment in our electric car revolution and securing it’s future for decades to follow.”
The new plant has a capacity equal to the one announced earlier this week by Envision and Renault in France.
Nissan will invest up to 423 millions pounds in a new-generation all electric crossover vehicle. This vehicle will be produced at the same plant that produces the LEAF electric vehicle as well as the Qashqai crossover SUV.
The world’s major powers are trying to reduce carbon emissions by removing the fossil-fuel-guzzling internal combustion engines. Britain has committed to banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars starting in 2030.
It is difficult to go electric.
THE ELECTRIC FUTURE
China is the dominant producer of electric vehicle batteries. It also processes the core minerals, such as rare earths, used in their production. However, the United States and Europe are slowly catching up.