Nissan is set to electrify two of its top-selling crossovers, the Juke and Qashqai. The Japanese automaker plans to manufacture these electrified vehicles in the UK, specifically at its Sunderland factory. This comes as part of Nissan's ambitious plan to transition entirely to EVs by 2030, leaving behind the era of internal combustion engines.
As reported by Sky News, Nissan's announcement regarding the electric Juke and Qashqai is imminent, with the official unveiling expected soon. This development marks a remarkable turning point for Nissan, as it fully commits to the electric crossover market with two of its most popular models.
Nissan is poised to invest a substantial sum, ranging from "hundreds of millions of pounds" to potentially over £1 billion into this project, according to industry sources. It is speculated that the UK government will provide substantial support for this initiative. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt are believed to have played a pivotal role in influencing Nissan's strategic move.
The Sunderland factory, which already manufactures the electric Nissan Leaf, is at the heart of this electrification endeavor. In addition to electric vehicle production, Nissan is also constructing its EV360 battery factory on the same site. Once operational, this battery facility has the capacity to produce up to 35 GWh of batteries annually, further bolstering Nissan's commitment to sustainable transportation solutions.
Nissan's decision to electrify the Juke and Qashqai comes on the heels of their impressive sales performance. The Qashqai, in particular, secured its place as the best-selling car in the UK last year, a remarkable feat given that it was the first British-made model to top the charts in 24 years. With over 42,700 units delivered in the UK in the previous year alone, the Qashqai's popularity underscores the growing demand for electric crossovers.
This electrification initiative aligns with the UK government's plans for substantial investments in manufacturing, with a focus on clean energy. Jeremy Hunt, the UK's top financial official, has unveiled plans to allocate $5.56 billion over the next five years, specifically for investments in clean and zero-emissions technologies in the automotive sector.
Meanwhile Toyota, another Japanese automaker, has teased several electric vehicle concepts, including a sports car, pickup truck, and the new Land Cruiser. Will Toyota join Nissan and electrify some of its best-selling models as well?
It's worth noting that Nissan Sakura, an electric minicar, has been a resounding success in Japan. Despite fierce competition, it managed to outperform Tesla in sales after its launch last year, thanks in part to its affordable price of around ¥2 million ($13,300) with government incentives. Nissan's commitment to making EVs more accessible is further underscored by the upcoming "X-in-1" powertrain, scheduled for release in 2026, which is expected to significantly reduce production costs.