Nissan has announced it will produce batteries at the firms Sunderland plant.
Nissan will produce a future generation of electric vehicle (EV) batteries at its flagship manufacturing base in Sunderland.
The announcement represents a £26.5m investment in Nissan’s manufacturing operations in the UK and will safeguard 300 jobs in manufacturing, maintenance and engineering at the firms lithium-ion plant, the largest in Europe.
The investment in the plant coincides with the 30th anniversary year of Nissan’s Sunderland factory, which is now the largest plant in the history of the UK car industry.
Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan Europe, commented: “With 200,000 customers around the world already, the Nissan LEAF has transformed the performance and perception of EVs and made Nissan the undisputed leader in EV technology.
“Today’s announcement reflects Nissan’s intention to remain EV leaders for many years to come, with our UK operations at the heart of our future innovations.”
Since Nissan began EV production at the Sunderland plant in 2013, the firm has invested £420m and manufactured the Battery Plant and the Nissan LEAF. These products and investment have supported more than 2,000 jobs at Nissan and its UK supply chain.
The Advance Propulsion Centre has provided Nissan with a £9.7m grant to support Nissan’s development of new EV technology. Nissan will team up with new academic and technology partners in a new project that will cost £19.4m.
The other consortium members are Hyperdrive Innovation, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, Newcastle University and Zero Carbon Futures, who will work together on key areas of battery development covering pilot projects, product diversification and process improvement.
UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This investment from Nissan is a further vote of confidence in our thriving automotive sector.
“The UK is fast becoming a world leader in low carbon automotive technology and the government is backing the industry. We committed an extra £225m funding to the Advanced Propulsion Centre in the Autumn Statement.
“This Nissan project, which is benefiting from that funding, shows what can be achieved.”
Willcox added: “I congratulate all my colleagues in the UK on securing this future technology, which is just reward for the second-to-none quality levels they have achieved since launching battery manufacturing in Sunderland, which remains the biggest UK car plant of all time.”
Nissan’s UK battery plant is one of three Nissan battery production sites globally, also providing battery modules for Nissan’s all-electric van, the e-NV200, which is manufactured in the company’s plant in Barcelona, Spain.