Love them or hate them, electric cars are going to be the future. Yes, we can all be sad about it. But this shift to voltage does have many positives, too, one of which being the arrival of the world's first 'EV manufacturing ecosystem', coming straight to Sunderland.
Given the closure of Ford's Bridgend factory and the sale of Honda's Swindon plant over the last couple of years, the news of such an investment on UK soil is a real confidence boost to the industry. The plant should create over 900 new jobs at the plant and more than 4,500 across the UK supply chain. All of this means the total investment by Nissan into the Sunderland plant will be over £5bn.
The EV Hub, with the catchy title Nissan EV36Zero, will allow Nissan to bring together their plans for future electric cars, plus renewable energy and battery production. It will also help contribute to Nissan's aim of creating carbon-neutral, zero-emission motoring.
Alongside the firm's commitment to build a new generation of electric crossover at the plant, the announcement of the UK's first battery gigafactory is of particular note. Envision AESC will invest £450m to build a new facility adjacent to the Nissan site, the initial proposals detailing a 9GWh plant with potential future-phase investment of £1.8bn to generate up to 25GWh.
The new plant will increase the cost-competitiveness of EV batteries produced in the UK, including through a new Gen5 battery cell with 30 per cent more energy density which improves range and efficiency. This commitment will power Nissan's new vehicles, of course - but also help make them cheaper to buy in the long run.
Nissan's Chief Operating Officer, Ashwani Gupta, said: "This is a landmark day for Nissan, our partners, the UK and the automotive industry as a whole. Nissan EV36Zero will transform the idea of what is possible for our industry and set a roadmap for the future for all."
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