Nissan plans Sunderland gigafactory; seeks millions

Nissan is in advanced talks with an attempt to secure tens of millions of pounds of support from the UK government to build a massive battery gigafactory at its existing Sunderland site, according to multiple news reports.

The gigafactory would be run by Nissan’s Chinese battery supplier Envision AESC and would support the production of 200,000 battery cars a year as well as thousands of jobs.

Nissan wants significant financial support from the UK government for the project, including a “route” to lower its energy costs for producing the batteries.

“Having established EV [electric vehicle] and battery production in the UK in 2013 for the Nissan Leaf, our Sunderland plant has played a pioneering role in developing the electric vehicle market,” said Nissan in a statement.

“As previously announced, we will continue to electrify our lineup as part of our global journey towards carbon neutrality.

“However, we have no further plans to announce at this time.”

A spokesman for the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “We are dedicated to securing gigafactories and continue to work closely with investors and vehicle manufacturers to progress plans to mass produce batteries in the UK.”