Nissan unveils a £1 billion electric vehicle hub in the UK

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As part of efforts to accelerate the transition to smart mobility, automaker Nissan has unveiled a £1 billion ($1.3 billion) flagship Electric Vehicle (EV) Hub in Sunderland in the UK.

The facility will act as a technology hub the automaker will leverage to move closer to its carbon-neutrality goal and establish a new 360-degree solution for zero-emission motoring.

The EV and battery manufacturing facility, EV36Zero is claimed to be a world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem. The project has been made possible through a partnership between the automaker and battery manufacturer Envision AESC and Sunderland City Council.

Comprised of three interconnected initiatives, Nissan EV36Zero brings together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production, setting a blueprint for the future of the automotive industry.

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More than 900 new Nissan jobs and 750 new Envision AESC jobs have been or will be created at the new plant, according to a statement.

Nissan will invest up to £423 million ($583 million) to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK, for exportation to the European markets traditionally served by Nissan’s Sunderland plant.

Envision AESC already owns and operates Europe’s first battery plant in Sunderland, established in 2012 for the localisation of Nissan LEAF battery production. The factory’s UK team has nine years’ experience from supplying batteries to the Nissan LEAF and eNV200. Envision AESC will also invest £450 million ($620 million) to build the UK’s first gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), adjacent to the Nissan plant, powered by renewable energy and pioneering next-generation battery technology.

Envision AESC will deploy integrated AIoT smart technology to monitor and optimise energy consumption, manufacturing and maintenance at its new gigafactory, enabling it to rapidly increase production and provide batteries to power up to 100,000 Nissan electric vehicles a year.

Nissan CEO, Makoto Uchida said: “This project comes as part of Nissan’s pioneering efforts to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the entire lifecycle of our products. Our comprehensive approach includes not only the development and production of EVs, but also the use of on-board batteries as energy storage and their reuse for secondary purposes.

“Our announcement today comes out of lengthy discussions held within our teams, and will greatly accelerate our efforts in Europe to achieve carbon neutrality. The experience and know-how gained through the project announced today will be shared globally, enhancing Nissan’s global competitiveness.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, adds: “Nissan’s announcement to build its new-generation all-electric vehicle in Sunderland, alongside a new gigafactory from Envision-AESC, is a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly-skilled workers in the North East.

“Building on over 30 years of history in the area, this is a pivotal moment in our electric vehicle revolution and securing its future for decades to come.

“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.”