Nissan and its partners have made an initial investment of £1bn to establish EV36Zero, which will revolutionize its manufacturing facility in Sunderland to generate a world-first ecosystem for electric vehicle (EV) production. The establishment of the Microgrid project initiated by Sunderland City Council will complement vehicle and battery production by providing renewable electricity to Nissan and its neighboring suppliers, integrating the existing wind and solar farms, including Nissan’s 20MW solar farm. Additionally, an investment of up to £2bn, along with an extra gigafactory and other infrastructure projects, will result in the production of two more models, enabling Nissan’s investments of up to £3bn in the UK and enhance its plans for the future designs of Qashqai, JUKE, and the LEAF’s replacement in EV versions.
The UK Government has granted a £15m funding for the £30m joint effort, spearheaded by Nissan, to create further scientific knowledge and R&D capacity for zero-emission vehicles at the Nissan Technical Centre (NTCE) in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, offering opportunities to source additional UK R&D investment for future vehicle models. Today’s proclamation is concurrent with the announcement of a new Investment Zone (IZ) for North East England. The North East Investment Zone will focus on Advanced Manufacturing and Green Industries, thereby increasing opportunities across the wider region, building on the Arc of Innovation running from Northumberland to Sunderland and Durham, with opportunities along the Tyne Corridor.
According to UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, Nissan’s commitment exemplifies the success of the Government’s business aids; it helps create jobs and enhances UK’s position as the world’s 8th largest manufacturer. UK Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch believes that the investment proves that the Government’s scheme for the auto industry is successful, the Advanced Manufacturing Plan, and other significant investment interests to advance growth and support jobs across the UK. At the same time, Cllr Graeme Miller, Sunderland City Council’s Leader, believes that the partnership with successful businesses and the Government’s ability to collaborate is fundamental to the industry’s constant success, while the North East Chamber of Commerce’s CEO, John McCabe, expects the transformation project to create more skilled and higher-paid jobs, safeguarding hundreds of jobs, giving a considerable boost to the economy of the North East, and attracting more significant investments.