Nissan eyeing Sunderland for new electric battery plant according to report

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Japanese carmaker Nissan Is in talks to build a new electric vehicle battery-making facility at Sunderland, according to a report today.

The Japanese group wants to make the UK the hub of its electric vehicle operation in Europe, according to the FT,  with the factory to be built off its existing site in Sunderland and produce 200,000 batteries a year.

Nissan did not confirm the story, but did not deny it either stating that it is continuing with plans to electrify its range.

“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,” it said in a statement.

“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.”

Today’s report came just a week after speculation that Tesla might be considering establishing a battery plant in the UK following a flying visit by its boss Elon Musk.

The electric car group has previously been reported as looking at sites in Somerset, though this was never confirmed.

A new Whitehall department, the Office for Investment, has also been calling for regional authorities to submit locations for a potential factory for an unnamed company.

Renewable energy is a cornerstone of the government’s 10-point green industrial plan, with turning areas in the north-east into a renewable energy infrastructure hub a key plank of that strategy.

Start-up Britishvolt recently bought the site of the former Blyth Power Station in Northumberland with the intention of turning it into a battery producing or giga factory.

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