I am delighted to announce that Nissan has confirmed a significant investment into their Sunderland plant and a partnership with their battery supplier, Envision AESC, and Sunderland City Council to create a North East electric vehicle manufacturing hub.
As Nissan’s second global electric vehicle manufacturing hub, Sunderland will produce battery electric vehicles at scale from 2024 with projected volumes of 100,000 each year. The site will also be home to the UK’s first large scale Gigafactory, with Envision AESC supplying batteries for Nissan’s electric vehicles. This is a transformational investment not just for the North East of England but for the UK, as we move towards a fully electrified future and deliver our Net Zero ambitions.
Nissan has a long and successful history in the UK and Sunderland is one of the most productive plants in Europe. The North East of England is renowned for automotive manufacturing and this investment will deliver economic growth in the area and support the levelling up agenda as we build back greener from the pandemic. Nissan’s commitment to Sunderland is testament to the strength of the British automotive sector and the quality and skill of our expert UK workforce. This investment will secure Nissan’s presence in Sunderland and thousands of highly skilled jobs at the plant. Indeed, as Nissan themselves have recognised, our Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union has brought the automotive industry, and our wider economy, the confidence and certainty needed to invest, employ, and plan ahead.
This North East EV Hub is an important first step in delivering our 10 Point Plan and manifesto commitment of securing our first large scale Gigafactory. In increasing their battery production, initially to supply Nissan, the Envision AESC Gigafactory will start to anchor the development of EV supply chains within the UK. This is vital as we start the mass UK manufacture of batteries needed for the next generation of electric vehicles.
The Government is also supporting Sunderland City Council to carry out infrastructure works on the adjacent International Advanced Manufacturing Park, to make space for the Gigafactory expansion and to start development of a local energy network supplying renewable energy.
The Government has played a crucial role in securing this major investment decision. Between us the Prime Minister, Lord Grimstone and I have engaged strongly with Nissan and their partners, Envision AESC and Sunderland City Council, to demonstrate our commitment to this opportunity. This investment will deliver the first EV to be manufactured at this scale in the UK and is a monumental step in the transition of the automotive industry to electrification.
This Government is committed to ensuring the UK continues to be one of the best locations in the world for automotive manufacturing, investing hundreds of millions to protect and create jobs, while securing a competitive future for the sector. The strong reputation of British automotive manufacturing is evident with over 80% of the cars produced in the UK being exported overseas.
As part of the Prime Minister’s 10-Point Plan, we have already announced £500 million to support the electrification of vehicles and their supply chains, and other strategically important technologies through the Automotive Transformation Fund, over the next four years. This is our approach to industrial policy in action: a strong and active government within a dynamic enterprise economy, working with industry to secure private investment and new jobs. We will continue to work with investors to secure the UK’s position at the forefront of the global green industrial revolution.
The Faraday Battery Challenge, with a further £317m of Government support, is creating the research, innovation and commercialisation pathways and ecosystem that are establishing the UK as a battery science superpower, growing innovative companies and attracting large scale battery manufacturing to the UK. This includes our investment in the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, a unique open access facility.
Today’s announcement shows that Nissan and Envision share our commitment to an automotive sector fit for the future as we transition to electric vehicles. The government is determined to ensure that the UK continues to be a great place to do business and one of the most competitive locations in the world for automotive and other advanced manufacturing. Nissan’s choice of the UK as their first location outside of Japan for such a major investment in electric vehicles underlines the strength of the UK to build such strategic partnerships and deliver our vision.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords