Nissan is the next automaker to heavily invest in electric vehicles (EV) and its manufacturing ecosystem. Dubbed Nissan EV36Zero, the electric vehicle hub is an expansion of the Sunderland plant in the UK that sees the construction of a new battery-making facility as well as a power generation plant using wind and solar energy.
The proposed new Nissan EV takes the form of a crossover, and suspect not to be the similarly-sized Nissan Ariya or recently launched Qashqai as the investment for the new EV alone is USD584 million (RM2.4 billion). Designed for global markets, Nissan UK will export the new EV to the European markets traditionally served by the Sunderland plant, up to the tune of 100,000 units a year.
The new EV will be built on the Alliance CMF-EV platform which also underpins the upcoming Renault Megane EV and the aforementioned Nissan Ariya. With Mitsubishi now being part of the Alliance, this new EV could also wear the Mitsubishi badge.
To keep total production efficient and minimize greenhouse gas emissions, a new battery factory will be built next to the Sunderland plant. Envision AESC, which already operates Europe’s first battery plant in the same city since 2012, will invest USD620 million (RM2.58 billion) to build UK’s first Gigafactory that is powered by renewable energy.
The initial output of the plant or ‘gigafactory’ is a modest nine GWh and is designed to deliver up to 35 GWh by 2030 as demand and investment grow. Envision AESC is targeting to manufacture cheaper-priced batteries as well as 30% more energy density for improved range and efficiency.
Locally, the Sunderland council is also leading the ‘microgrid’ project that aims to deliver 100% renewable electricity that will save 55,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
The ‘microgrid’ plan includes the creation of 10 new solar farms plus the existing 12.5 MW wind and solar farms together with storage of energy via refurbished batteries from old Nissan EVs. The project, a first-of-its-kind, is estimated to be worth USD111 million (RM459 million).
The EV36Zero plan’s goal is to create a world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem, using renewable and sustainable energy to build the vehicle, as well as power it within the surrounding region. The USD1.38 billion (or GBP1 billion, RM5.7 billion) investment is set to created 6,200 new jobs for both Nissan UK and the Envision AESC factory.
Britain has pledged to end the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines from 2030.