Nissan has announced it will be investing up to 1.12 billion pounds at its Sunderland plant to build its next generation of electric crossovers, in line with the brand’s plans to go all-electric in Europe by 2030. Nissan’s blueprint for future products and manufacturing in the UK will comprise three electric vehicles, three gigafactories and up to 3 billion pounds in investment. The Japanese automaker plans to produce two electric crossovers, the next-generation Qashqai and Juke, which will be electric, and joining this lineup will be the next-generation Leaf electric crossover.
The electric Nissan Qashqai and Juke will be built alongside the next-gen Leaf EV. Both vehicle and battery manufacturing at the Sunderland plant will be powered by the EV36Zero Microgrid, which will incorporate the wind and solar farms at Nissan and the capability to deliver 100 per cent renewable electricity. The EV strategy will help sustain about 7,000 Nissan employees in the UK, along with 30,000 jobs supported by the UK supply chain.
Apart from the new EVs, Nissan’s battery partner Envision AESC will build a third cell plant that will have an initial capacity of producing 9 GWh worth of battery cells. The plan to do so was first announced in 2021.
Speaking about the new EV strategy, Nissan President and CEO Makoto Uchida said, “Exciting electric vehicles are at the heart of our plans to achieve carbon neutrality. With electric versions of our core European models on the way, we are accelerating towards a new era for Nissan, for industry and for our customers. The EV36Zero project puts our Sunderland plant, Britain’s biggest-ever car factory, at the heart of our future vision. It means our UK team will be designing, engineering and manufacturing the vehicles of the future, driving us towards an all-electric future for Nissan in Europe.”
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak added, “Nissan’s investment is a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry, which already contributes a massive £71 billion a year to our economy. This venture will no doubt secure Sunderland’s future as the UK’s Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing. Making the UK the best place to do business is at the heart of our economic plan. We will continue to back businesses like Nissan to expand and grow their roots in the UK every step of the way as we make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.”
The next generation Nissan Qashqai and Juke will take inspiration from the Hyper Urban concept as well as the Hyper Punk concept that was showcased at the Tokyo Mobility Show earlier this year. The next Nissan Leaf will take inspiration from the Chill-Out concept unveiled in 2021, bringing a more sleek yet rugged flair to the EV.
At present, Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the UK builds internal combustion engine and hybrid vehicles of the Qashqai and Juke, as well as the current generation of the fully electric Leaf. With the automaker’s plans to go all-electric in Europe by 2030, the Sunderland plant will play a major role in supplying offerings to the market.
Nissan’s decision to go electric in Europe is in line with most of its rivals. The brand’s French partner Renault has committed to going electric in Europe by 2030, while Ford and Stellantis will go all-electric in Europe by the end of this decade.