Japanese car group Nissan is in talks to build a dedicated battery gigafactory in the UK, according to reports.
Nissan is understood to be talking to the UK government about building the plant at its existing Sunderland site, according to the Financial Times.
Attributing the report to “three people briefed on the private discussions”, the FT said the site would be run by Nissan’s preferred battery maker, China’s Envision AESC, and support the production of up to 200,000 battery cars a year. It would also create potentially thousands of jobs.
Nissan wants the UK government to invest “at least tens of millions of pounds” in the project, however.
Neither Nissan nor the government has commented on the report. However, a government spokesman told the FT: “We are dedicated to securing gigafactories, and continue to work closely with investors and vehicle manufactures to progress plans to mass produce batteries in the UK.”
Investment in gigafactories is crucial to the shift away from traditionally fuelled cars to electric vehicles.
Nissan’s Sunderland factory, the UK’s biggest car plant, currently employs around 7,000 people. In 2019, it produced around 366,000 cars but has the capacity to produce more.