Nissan officially announced its ambitious plan, which we heard of yesterday, to transform its UK manufacturing hub into a 100% electric powerhouse, building three all-new electric vehicles. This plan, known as the EV36Zero project, involves $4 billion in investments, marking a significant milestone in the global transition to electric cars.
Nissan's EV36Zero hub, situated in Sunderland, is set to embrace a carbon-neutral approach. This transformation includes the electrification of Nissan's flagship Qashqai and Juke crossovers, as well as the next-generation Nissan Leaf, a model that played a pivotal role in kickstarting the electric vehicle revolution.
The driving force behind this electrification will be the EV36Zero Microgrid, powered by wind and solar farms on-site. This microgrid will supply 100% renewable electricity to Nissan and its suppliers, emphasizing Nissan's commitment to environmental sustainability.
Makoto Uchida, Nissan's President and CEO, expressed his excitement about the project, stating, "Exciting, electric vehicles are at the heart of our plans to achieve carbon neutrality. With electric versions of our core European models on the way, we are accelerating towards a new era for Nissan, for industry, and for our customers."
This announcement follows Nissan's commitment to making all its new cars in Europe fully electric and having a 100% electric passenger car lineup in Europe by 2030.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed Nissan's investment as a "massive vote of confidence in the UK's automotive industry." He added, "This venture will no doubt secure Sunderland's future as the UK's Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing."
Nissan's investment includes $1.38 billion in its UK operations and the wider supply chain for research and development (R&D) and manufacturing of two new electric models. This investment encompasses facility and manufacturing process improvements, skills training, and tooling for suppliers, building on the $522 million invested in the first phase of EV36Zero.
The three new electric vehicles represent the future for all three models currently manufactured at the Nissan Sunderland Plant. Nissan Qashqai (the UK's best-selling car of 2022, and a car that represents one in five of all cars built in the UK). Nissan Juke, the rule-breaking compact crossover, with over one million units sold, and finally - the Nissan Leaf with more than a quarter of a million units built in Sunderland.
These three future models will draw inspiration from three all-electric concept models, including the Nissan Hyper Urban Concept, the Nissan Hyper Punk Concept, and the Nissan Chill-Out Concept, each offering unique features and design aesthetics.
The UK Government sweetened the deal for Nissan and granted $19 million in funding for a collaborative project led by Nissan, strengthening the technical expertise and zero-emission vehicle R&D capabilities of the Nissan Technical Centre (NTCE) in Cranfield, Bedfordshire.
Today's announcement coincides with the confirmation of a new Investment Zone (IZ) for North East England, focusing on Advanced Manufacturing and Green Industries. This initiative aligns with the broader vision of making the UK a hub for innovation and sustainable manufacturing.