Car giant Nissan said this morning it plans to spend more than £13bn on developing electric vehicles.
At a news conference in Japan the car manufacturer, which has a major plant in Sunderland, revealed it will develop 23 new electric models by 2030.
By that time, the firm aims for half of its global output to be made up of electric vehicles.
Nissan said it will spend two trillion yen, around £13.2bn, on electric vehicles over the next five years.
Speaking to reporters, Nissan chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta stressed the importance of the Sunderland plant for their plans.
“Europe will take the lead on electrification around the world for Nissan. In Europe, Sunderland is the one which will take the lead towards electrification.”
He said it was not only leading in electric vehicle production, but also battery manufacture and green power with its EV36zero build hub, the concept it announced with Government support in the summer.
Gupta said: “Sunderland is the leader, in collaboration with the government, suppliers, dealers and most importantly, our employees.”
Nissan has plans to bring in all-solid-state batteries by 2028, which will be one-third quicker to charge.
Earlier this year it announced its EV360Zero system in Sunderland, bringing together a new battery plant and locally sourced green energy to power production, and the firm said it will expand the concept in other markets around the world.