Nissan to confirm plans for massive UK battery factory by 2024 Car News

Nissan is reportedly progressing with plans to build a battery plant in the UK in 2024 to support its transition to an electric-only range, and may make an official statement later this week.

Citing three people familiar with the project, the Financial Times (FT) reported last month that the Japanese automaker was in “advanced talks” with the UK government and is expected to make an official announcement on the outcome of the talks in the coming months.

Now, Sky News reports that the Japanese maker may formalize its plans in the coming days, and the BBC suggests it could be linked to the announcement of a brand new electric model.

Contacted by Autocar, a Nissan spokesperson declined to give further details, but said: ‘Having established electric vehicle and battery production in the UK in 2013 for the Nissan Leaf, our Sunderland plant has played a role. a pioneering role in the development of the electric vehicle market.

“As previously announced, we will continue to electrify our range as part of our global journey to carbon neutrality, but we have no further plans to announce at this time.”

Nissan is expanding its activities in the Tyne and Wear region with a view to making the UK its largest production center outside of Japan.

It recently presented plans to expand its Sunderland battery production plant, run by its engineering partner Envision, to supply larger power supplies to the UK-built Leaf, in line with trade rules. post-Brexit exterior.

The new plant would far exceed the 1.9 GWh capacity of this existing facility (although it is smaller than Tesla’s 35 GWh site in Nevada), with output initially of 6 GWh and ultimately reaching between 18 GWh and 20 GWh.

The site will again be operated by Envision, and the FT reports that it will have a production capacity of 200,000 units per year, creating “thousands of jobs”.

FT sources say Nissan wants “tens of millions of pounds” of UK government support and lower energy costs to run the plant.

Nissan’s battery plant is said to be the second such facility in the UK, following the opening of Britishvolt’s £ 2.6 billion site in nearby Blyth in 2023. Designed by Pininfarina, the facility is expected to have a capacity of 300,000 batteries per year by 2027 and create around 8,000 jobs on site and in the supply chain.

While talks with Nissan are underway, the UK government is also reportedly talking to “several other potential gigafactory investors”. It is widely believed that the UK auto industry will become uncompetitive on a global scale without its own battery production facilities.

Rumors persist that Tesla may be considering its own UK battery plant, although that possibility was weakened in 2019 when the company chose to open a site near Berlin in Germany (which was recently assaulted by permit delays and local opposition).

A recent visit to the UK by Tesla boss Elon Musk rekindled suggestions that a Tesla production outpost here is back on the cards, though he has yet to comment publicly on the speculation. .

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This notice was published: 2021-06-28 13:13:00

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