Nissan Motors announced it would make a further investment into its UK plant to keep producing batteries for its electric vehicles.
The new 26.5-million-pound investment (around 37 million dollars) will secure the 300 jobs in manufacturing, maintenance and engineering at Nissan’s lithium-ion battery plant in Sunderland, UK, the largest of its type in Europe. As part of the investment, Nissan will make a 19.4-million-pound partnership, teaming up with new academic and technology partners, supported with a 9.7-million-pound loan from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre. The Japanese automaker will work with the University of Warwick, Newcastle University and Zero Carbon Futures for the development to make future generation electric vehicle batteries. The Sunderland 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 plant in Barcelona, Spain. “Nissan intends to remain EV leader for many years to come, with our UK operations at the heart of our future innovations,” Nissan Europe’s chairman Paul Willcox said.
The announcement comes at the beginning of a landmark year in which Nissan will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Sunderland factory. Since EV production began at the factory in 2013 bolstered by a 420-million-pound investment, the battery plant and Leaf production have supported more than 2,000 jobs both at Nissan and within the supply chain. The automaker delivered its 200,000th Leaf this month, selling 43,651 units worldwide in 2015, 15,630 of which were in Europe.