Nissan has announced that it will be producing future-generation EV batteries in Sunderland, in the UK.
First of all, this is exciting news for Sunderland and the UK as a whole, as it means high-quality, high-paying jobs for hundreds of people. Additionally, I’m viewing it as positive news for Nissan, since it seems to indicate that Nissan still has a competitive advantage when it comes to battery production.
While Nissan batteries had some issues in very hot climates early on, they have been improved, and Nissan’s battery pack costs are reportedly on the extreme low end of the industry and even beat most 2020 projections for battery pack costs. According to the latest research I’ve seen, the costs are comparable with Tesla’s battery pack costs, and close to the cost of the LG Chem batteries that will be used in the Chevy Bolt. Assuming the costs have been coming down, Nissan could be in a very good position on this front.
The new production expansion also includes a partnership with academic and technology partners (Hyperdrive Innovation, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, Newcastle University and Zero Carbon Futures), and it includes a £9.7 million grant from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Center (which we were just writing about). The Advanced Propulsion Center, by the way, got a £225 million funding boost last year.
Regarding jobs, Nissan writes, “Since EV production began in Sunderland in 2013, a £420m investment, the Battery Plant and Nissan LEAF production have supported more than 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in its UK supply chain.”
Going on: “Representing a £26.5m investment in the UK, this commitment will safeguard 300 highly-skilled jobs in manufacturing, maintenance and engineering at Nissan’s advanced lithium-ion battery plant in Sunderland, the largest of its type in Europe.”
Nissan has 3 battery production factories worldwide.