Construction begins of first Renault-Nissan Alliance battery plant in Europe image

Construction of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s first European plant for the production of advanced lithium-ion batteries began today in Sunderland, UK.
Toshiyuki Shiga, chief operating officer of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., carried out the groundbreaking ceremony at Nissan’s Sunderland car plant to mark the beginning of the £210-million project.

The 25,000m2 facility will be operational in early 2012 with an initial annual production capacity of 60,000 units and will supply batteries for both Nissan and Renault electric vehicles (EVs).

The plant is expected to create 200 new Nissan jobs and a further 600 across the UK supply chain.

The Alliance has previously announced that a second battery facility will be located in Cacia, Portugal and has also announced plans to produce batteries at Renault’s Flins plant in France.

Last month, Nissan confirmed that Sunderland will also become a production location for the Nissan LEAF electric vehicl.

Nissan’s Oppama Plant in Japan will be the first plant globally to begin producing LEAF later this year, and will support the car’s UK sales launch in early 2011. The Nissan LEAF and advanced lithium-ion batteries will also be produced at Nissan’s Smyrna plant in the USA from late 2012.