Nissan has confirmed plans to turn its Sunderland manufacturing facility into a £1 billion electric vehicle (EV) hub which will feature a Gigafactory with an initial 9GWh plant for battery production.

Dubbed the Nissan EV36Zero, and launched with battery technology company Envision AESC, the investment comprises three interconnected initiatives which Nissan describes as delivering “a world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem in the UK”.

Nissan EV36Zero brings together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production, setting, says Nissan, a blueprint for the future of the automotive industry.

Nissan will also invest up to £423 million to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK with a forecasted production capacity of up to 100,000 units.

Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer, Makoto Uchida, says, “This project comes as part of Nissan’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the entire lifecycle of our products. Our comprehensive approach includes not only the development and production of EVs, but also the use of on-board batteries as energy storage and their reuse for secondary purposes.”

He adds, “Our announcement comes out of lengthy discussions held within our teams, and will greatly accelerate our efforts in Europe to achieve carbon neutrality. The experience and know-how gained through the project will be shared globally, enhancing Nissan’s global competitiveness.”

Envision AESC already owns and operates Europe’s first battery plant in Sunderland, established in 2012 for the localisation of Nissan LEAF battery production. The new gigafactory will create 750 new jobs and safeguard the jobs of 300 current employees.

Lei Zhang, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Envision Group, states, “Envision Group’s mission is to be the net zero technology partner of choice for global enterprises, governments, and cities. We are therefore delighted to be a part of EV36Zero with Nissan and Sunderland City Council.”