Thursday 1 July 2021 7:51 am

Nissan confirms £1bn Sunderland gigafactory in major jobs boost

Nissan today confirmed plans to open a £1bn flagship battery gigafactory in Sunderland as part of a major electric vehicle push that will create thousands of new jobs.

The Japanese carmaker said the huge new plant, dubbed EV36Zero, would create 6,200 new jobs at Nissan and its UK suppliers.

This includes more than 900 new Nissan jobs and 750 jobs at its partner Envision.

The venture will be the UK’s largest battery gigafactory — a term coined by Tesla’s Elon Musk.

Nissan said it would spur on its efforts to reach carbon neutrality and comes ahead of the government’s ban on new petrol and diesel cars, which comes into effect in 2030.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the investment as a “major vote of confidence in the UK”. The government is thought to have part-financed the project.

“This is a landmark day for Nissan, our partners, the UK and the automotive industry as a whole,” said Nissan chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta.

“Nissan EV36Zero will transform the idea of what is possible for our industry and set a roadmap for the future for all.

“We reached a new frontier with the Nissan Leaf, the world’s first mass-market all-electric vehicle. Now, with our partners, Nissan will pioneer the next phase of the automotive industry as we accelerate towards full electrification and carbon neutrality.”

As part of the project, Nissan will invest up to £423m to produce a new all-electric car in the UK. It forecast production capacity of up to 100,000 vehicles per year.

“I am extremely proud that Nissan has not only reaffirmed its belief in Britain, but is doubling down on its long-standing commitment to our country,” said business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

“The cars made in this plant, using batteries made just down the road at the UK’s first at scale gigafactory, will have a huge role to play as we transition away from petrol and diesel cars and kick-start a domestic electric vehicle manufacturing base.”