Envision AESC and Nissan unveil UK gigafactory plans as part of £1bn EV 'hub' investment

by John Shepherd
Artist's impression of the planned Sunderland gigafactory.
China’s Envision AESC is set to build a 9 GWh battery manufacturing plant in the UK as part of a £1bn investment with Nissan to establish an electric vehicle manufacturing hub, the firms announced today.

Envision AESC, the battery arm of the Envision Group, will invest £450m to build the planned gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park, next to the Nissan plant in Sunderland, north-east England, which will be powered by "renewable energy and pioneering next-generation battery technology”.

The battery maker will use smart technology at the gigafactory to rapidly ramp up production and "provide batteries to power up to 100,000” Nissan EVs annually.

Battery recycling

Envision AESC, which already owns and operates Europe’s first battery plant in Sunderland, said the formal planning process for the new gigafactory is about to begin.

Lei Zhang, Envision Group founder and CEO, said: "Growth in demand could bring future investment of up to £1.8bn, additional capacity of 25 GWh and 4,500 jobs by 2030. This will put the North East at the heart of a new EV hub in the UK, collaborating on R&D; around the whole battery lifecycle, from storage, to second-life use, vehicle-to-grid smart charging and closed loop recycling.”

Nissan said the ‘EV36Zero’ hub project, which is backed by Sunderland City Council, will "set a blueprint for the future of the automotive industry”.


Nissan will invest up to £423m to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle at Sunderland, building on the success of the Nissan Leaf.

The hub project includes plans for a 1 MW battery storage system using second-life Nissan EV/Envision AESC batteries, incorporating the use of energy from existing Nissan wind and solar farms and building additional renewable generation, connected through the UK grid.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the announcement as "a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly-skilled workers in the North East”.

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