Nissan 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, UK.
Representing a £26.5 million investment, this commitment will safeguard 300 highly-skilled jobs in manufacturing, maintenance and engineering at Nissan’s advanced lithium-ion battery plant in Sunderland, the largest of its type in Europe.
The facility is one of three Nissan battery production sites globally and will provide battery modules for the all-electric Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 electric van, which is manufactured at Nissan’s facility in Barcelona, Spain.
Already the global leaders in electric vehicles with over 200,000 Nissan LEAFs on the road worldwide covering a total of two billion electric miles, the announcement is another stake in the ground as Nissan reaffirms its commitment to a 100% electric future. In 2015 alone, Nissan sold 43,651 LEAFs worldwide, 15,630 of which were in Europe.
Paul Willcox, Chairman, 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 £420 million investment, the battery plant and Nissan LEAF production have supported more than 2,000 jobs both at Nissan and within the supply chain.
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. The St Petersburg facility celebrated production of its 200,000th vehicle in 2015, making it the fastest growing plant in Russia.