Japanese automobile maker Nissan has announced that they will invest £1 billion to build a unique electric vehicle hub in Sunderland, UK. Dubbed as EV36Zero, the endeavour will expand on the Sunderland facility of the company that has been there since 1986. Nissan is calling it a world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem and plant to produce an entirely new electric vehicle from here.
The project consists of three core pillars – developing a new gigafactory, producing a new all-electric crossover and getting 100% renewable energy from a new microgrid. These steps are being taken towards electrification of the company’s lineup and also to achieve carbon neutrality.
Nissan will partner with Envision AESC, who have been providing batteries for Leaf and eNV200 in the UK for the past 9 years. With a massive £450 million investment, a new gigafactory will be built on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), adjacent to the Nissan plant. It will initially be a 9GWh plant but with future investments could expand up to 35GWh. The new plant will not only bring down the cost of EV batteries, but it will also produce Gen 5 battery cells that are 30 per cent denser and will give a better range. Both these factors could accelerate the adoption of EVs in the coming years.
£423 million out of the entire budget will go towards the production of a new all-electric crossover. This new vehicle will be built on the Alliance CMF-EV platform and designed for global markets. This platform was designed and developed by Nissan in collaboration with Renault and is shared between the companies. This platform will replace the one in Nissan Leaf and it was seen in the Nissan Ariya that is set to hit the market next year.
The Sunderland City Council will provide a 100 per cent renewable microgrid that will help save 55,000 tonnes of carbon annually. Existing solar and wind farms of Nissan will be incorporated. Almost 10 solar farms producing 132MW of energy will be part of the project. Nissan is expected to spend £80 million on this project and also use second-life batteries for storing up to 1MW generated during the day.
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