Nissan's Electrifying Shift: £2 Billion Invested In Sunderland Plant For All-Electric Qashqai, Juke, And Leaf

by AutoExpert   |  26 November, 2023

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Nissan's upcoming generation of the Qashqai and Juke, alongside the next Leaf, will roll off the assembly lines at the Sunderland factory, owing to a fresh investment of up to £2 billion by the company and its partners. 

Nissan Qashqai and Juke, previously offered solely with combustion engines, will now transition into electric cars with striking new designs influenced by the Hyper Urban and Hyper Punk concept cars showcased at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Nissan's investment, encompassing up to £1.12 billion in its UK operations, assisted by contributions from partners, will pave the way for this transition. This significant investment of £2 billion, excluding government support, underlines Nissan's commitment, with discussions ongoing for potential government incentives to support the plant further.

Building upon the 2021 launch of the EV36Zero hub, Sunderland's facility will now cater to the production of three EVs and three battery gigafactories, including the third gigafactory planned adjacent to the International Manufacturing Plant. This expansion reinforces the site's status as a key hub for electric vehicle manufacturing.

Nissan

Presently, the Sunderland site manufactures the current petrol Qashqai and Juke models alongside the second-generation Leaf EV. Nissan had previously confirmed one electric car for production in Sunderland, initially amounting to a £1 billion investment that included a £423 million contribution from Nissan.

Nissan's CEO, Makato Uchida, emphasized the importance of EVs in their pursuit of carbon neutrality. This substantial investment in the UK's automotive industry has garnered praise from the government, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak lauding it as a vote of confidence. He expressed confidence in Sunderland becoming the UK's Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing.

Nissan

80% of Sunderland-built cars are exported internationally, and the confirmation of the Qashqai and Juke successors hints at their styling inspiration drawn from the Hyper Urban and Hyper Punk concepts. These designs promise to evolve the edgy styling of the current Juke and Qashqai models. Additionally, the Leaf's successor, based on the 2021 Chill-Out Concept, will mark a significant departure from its predecessor, taking the form of a stylish crossover.

Nissan has confirmed that production of the next Leaf will begin in 2026. This is in line with their plan to stop selling ICE cars in Europe by 2030, which is five years earlier than what the UK and EU rules require. Although technical specifications remain undisclosed, both models will use the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance EV platforms.

Nissan

Nissan Juke and Qashqai will utilize the CMF-EV platform, shared with the larger Nissan Ariya and Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric, while Sunderland's focus will be on the CMF-EV platform for these models. The production of the new Nissan Micra EV, using the smaller CMF-BEV architecture, is slated alongside the Renault 4 and Renault 5 at a Renault plant in France.

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