Nissan is reportedly looking into building a new electric vehicle battery Gigafactory in the northeast of England that would see it triple its production capacity to keep up with future demand.
The news, reported by the Financial Times, claims the Japanese carmaker is requesting financial support in the tens of millions from the UK government to help build a new battery Gigafactory that would be its main electric hub outside of Japan and be able to produce 200,000 batteries a year.
Nissan is currently producing batteries for its all-electric Leaf, Europe’s highest-selling electric vehicle, at its existing plant in Sunderland which has a capacity of around 2GWh. The newly proposed factory is said to be planned for 2024 and have around 6GWh capacity and would still be operated by Chinese battery manufacturer Envision AESC.
A recent report from manufacturing consultancy company HSSMI highlighted that with the surging sales of EVs it is predicted that there will be a shortfall in battery supply in the UK of nearly 95GWh by 2040 unless the country builds battery Gigafactories.
The news that Nissan is reportedly considering building an EV battery Gigafactory would be a major boost to the UK’s position in the electric vehicle market. Currently, the AESC facility in Sunderland is the only UK facility manufacturing lithium-ion cells at scale, however, two other companies AMTE Power and Britishvolt are both building UK-based battery Gigafactories.
Nissan is said to have not commented on the report, however, did release a statement:
“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.
“As previously announced, we will continue to electrify our line-up as part of our global journey towards carbon neutrality. However, we have no further plans to announce at this time.”