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Business & Economy

Nissan unveils £2 billion plans to build new all-electric models at Sunderland

Nissan has announced £2 billion plans to make more electric models on Wearside.

The Sunderland car maker will build green versions of its flagship Qashqai and Juke hatchbacks.

Its 6000-worker plant will also make a rebooted Leaf, the all-electric model that has rolled off its North East production lines for the last decade.

And bosses say it will create a third battery-making factory to provide power packs, which will sit alongside an existing hub and a new site being created by Nissan partner Envision AESC on Wearside’s International Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Regeneration bosses have called the moves “a huge vote of confidence in the city and region”.

The moves mark the latest instalment in Nissan’s previously-unveiled EV36Zero project, which commits the firm to an “all-electric future”.

Makoto Uchida, Nissan president and chief executive, said: “We are accelerating towards a new era for Nissan, for industry and for our customers.

“The EV36Zero project puts our Sunderland plant at the heart of our future vision.

“It means our UK team will be designing, engineering and manufacturing the vehicles of the future, driving us towards an all-electric future for Nissan in Europe.”

He added vehicle and battery making will be powered by a so-called EV36Zero Microgrid, which will use wind and solar farms based across its Wearside plant’s footprint.

In addition to Nissan’s announcement, the Government has awarded £15 million for a £30 million collaborative project led by Nissan and confirmed the North East Investment Zone, which it says will focus on advanced manufacturing and green industries.

Reacting to the news, Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This builds on our world-leading strengths in automotive and advanced manufacturing, creates high quality jobs, grows our low-carbon economy and further positions us at the heart of electrification on a global stage.

“The strength of our partnership with businesses like these alongside our ability to work with Government is essential to the continued success of the sector, and the Investment Zone for the North East announced today means we can build on our track record by attracting further investment of this scale and significance.”

Pictured above: Councillor Graeme Miller


Paul Butler, chief executive of the North East Automotive Alliance, said: “This investment, along with easing of global supply chain constraints, will see the North East automotive sector grow by £4 billion over the next four years – making the combined turnover for the region in excess of £12 billion per annum.

“The ramping up of production and new investment coming in will create many thousands of jobs across the supply chain, which is great for the North East economy and UK plc.”