Nissan Motor Co. is betting on the UK by investing $1.4 billion along with a Chinese partner Envision AESC. They will be building a 9 gigawatt-hour battery plant that can power 100,000 cars every year. And Nissan to build a new EV crossover.
Automakers are rushing to secure their own battery plant. After the shortage of semiconductor chips, companies are being cautious about their own production and securing parts. The 9-gigawatt-hour battery is an illustrative boost for the UK’s electrification journey. Nissan’s chief operating officer, Ashwani Gupta said, “This project is the demonstration of the renaissance of the British car industry,” And points out that their Sunderland plant in Britain 70% of vehicles manufactured to Europe.
Furthermore, Nissan is being supported by prime minter Boris Johnson. He said Nissan’s move was “a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly skilled workers in the North East”.
The investment for electrification will create 6,200 jobs in the Sunderland plant and other British supply chains. By spending 423 million euros every year, Nissan is going to produce a new generation electric crossover vehicle. Also a Qashqai crossover SUV, but there is no launch date or a name for these electric vehicles yet. However, the new electric crossover will be built in alliance with the CMF-EV platform. Renault and Mitsubishi are partnering with Nissan through the EV platform.
Britain’s progress towards electrification
Besides Nissan’s big plans to enter into the UK EV sector, the country itself has been working towards electrifying its cars. Britain pledged to ban field-based cars by 2030. A rather tough goal considering China is in the leading position because of raw material availability. Furthermore, most countries have goals to have zero carbon emissions by 2040 or 2050.
The United States is catching up with China by encouraging domestic raw materials and alternatives to the materials that are not available. Boosting the domestic manufacturing of materials creates jobs.
Furthermore, Envision is going to invest 1.8 billion pounds in manufaturing the battery plant. It would create 4,200 new jobs by 2030 with a generating capacity of 25GWh. Envision Group founder and chief executive, Zhang Lei said, “We also want to build the supply ecosystem in the country – but you do need critical mass.” The new battery plant could supply to other companies, and further expand With export to European countries.
Associate professor of political economy at the London School of Economics, Bob Hancké said, “Battery development and production is currently in a complete state of flux – chaos even.” Further added, “Any investment now runs the risk of closing of technologically more advanced options a few years from now.”