Nissan funnels £1bn into Sunderland gigafactory to produce new EV models

Automaker Nissan has confirmed that more than £1bn will be invested across its UK operations, including the flagship Sunderland manufacturing facility, to produce fully electric vehicle production in the coming years.

Nissan funnels £1bn into Sunderland gigafactory to produce new EV models

Image: Nissan

Nissan is investing £1.12bn into its UK operations and wider supply chain for R&D and manufacturing for two new models, fully electric models – the Qashqai and JUKE. Nissan has also confirmed that next-generation Nissan LEAFs – one of the first commercial-scale electric vehicles (EVs) on the market – will also be produced at its EV36Zero hub in Sunderland.

The investment will cover facility and manufacturing process improvements, skills training, and tooling for suppliers.

In total, Nissan’s manufacturing blueprint in the UK will see £3bn invested in the three EV modes at three gigafactories. The new fund builds on Nissan’s vision to deliver a passenger car line-up that its 100% EV by 2030.

Nissan President, 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.”


The company wants to transform the Sunderland facility into a £1bn EV hub that will feature a 9GWh battery production gigafactory – the first of its kind in the UK.

The Nissan EV36Zero EV hub was launched in 2021 through an initial £1bn investment by Nissan and its battery technology partner Envision AESC with support from Sunderland City Council. The “hub” combines EV manufacturing, optimised renewable energy use and large-scale battery production to drive low-carbon innovation.

Nissan will invest up to £423m to produce a next-generation EV in the UK, while Envision AESC will invest £450m into what will be the UK’s first gigafactory, located adjacent to the Nissan plant in the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP). The gigafactory will be powered by renewable energy.

The new gigafactory will create 750 new jobs and safeguard 300 existing employees. Future plans could see up to 4,500 green jobs created in the region by 2030. No date has been given as to when the plant will become operational.

The company has also confirmed a £52m investment into its Sunderland facility that will enable the use of recycled and lightweight aluminium for the production of Qashqai vehicles to reduce the energy required for material processing.

Additionally, a 20MW solar farm at the plant, co-located at the facility has been approved.

Nissan has today (24 November) confirmed that both vehicle and battery production will be powered by a microgrid that incorporates both wind and solar farms at the site. This will have the capability to deliver 100% renewable electricity to Nissan and its neighbouring suppliers.

Commenting on the announcement,  UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Nissan’s investment is a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry, which already contributes a massive £71bn 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.”

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie