Nissan have announced a vote of confidence in European manufacturing by awarding production of future generation electric vehicle (EV) batteries to the company’s manufacturing facility in Sunderland.
Representing a £26.5m investment, this commitment will safeguard 300 highly-skilled jobs in manufacturing, maintenance and engineering at Nissan’s advanced lithium-ion battery plant in the city, which is the largest of its type in Europe.
The facility is one of three Nissan battery production sites globally and provides battery modules for the all-electric Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 electric van, which is manufactured at Nissan’s facility in Barcelona, Spain
Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan Europe, said: “The Nissan LEAF has transformed the performance and perception of EVs and made Nissan the undisputed leader in EV technology.
“Today’s announcement reflects Nissan’s intention to remain EV leaders for many years to come, with our European operations at the heart of our future innovations.”
Since EV production began in Sunderland in 2013, bolstered by a £420m investment, the battery plant and Nissan LEAF production have supported more than 2,000 jobs both at Nissan and within the supply chain.
Mr Willcox added: “Nissan has achieved second-to-none quality levels since launching battery manufacturing in Sunderland, and securing this critical future production is a testament to our success.
“This news coincides with the launch of the 250km range Nissan LEAF. Now in its third generation, the LEAF continues to go from strength to strength as we realize our electric motoring vision.”
The announcement comes at the beginning of a landmark year in which Nissan will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Sunderland factory (now the largest plant in the history of the UK car industry) and the 10th anniversary of its St Petersburg Plant in Russia.