Nissan drives for sustainability in the transport sector

Exciting EVs are at the heart of plans to achieve carbon neutrality, driving us towards an all-electric future in Europe, says Makoto Uchida, Nissan CEO

Japanese automaker Nissan is well on its way to cementing its role as an industry leader as it further commits to electrification. 

Following confirmation that all its new cars in Europe will be fully electric going forward — with an expectation for its passenger car line-up in Europe to be 100% electric by 2030 — Nissan has now announced that all three models made at its flasgship UK plant in Sunderland will be 100% electric.

“Exciting, electric vehicles are at the heart of our plans to achieve carbon neutrality,” Makoto Uchida, Nissan President and CEO told employees at the Sunderland plant.

“With electric versions of our core European models on the way, we are accelerating towards a new era for Nissan, for industry and for our customers.”

Uchida has had an impressive career at Nissan since joining the company in 2003, spanning roles in Nissan and partner companies Dongfeng Motor Co. and Alliance Purchasing. Uchida has a degree in theology from Doshisha University in Japan. 

EV production at the heart of sustainability strategy

Nissan believes that the future of mobility is about more than cars — it is also about creating a global ecosystem that supports sustainable and equitable transportation solutions. 

EV36Zero is a £1bn flagship EV hub unveiled in Sunderland in 2021, developed to supercharge the company's drive to carbon neutrality and establish a new 360-degree solution for zero-emission motoring. The EV36Zero is a crucial part of Nissan’s Ambition 2030, a vision announced in 2019, and is a blueprint that Nissan plans on extending out to Japan, China and the US. 

The hub will consist of three EVs and three gigafactories powered by the EV36Zero Microgrid, which will incorporate Nissan’s wind and solar farms (including the brand new 20MW solar farm) and have the capability to deliver 100% renewable electricity to Nissan and its neighbouring suppliers.

The future of Nissan is bright — and it’s electric 

Nissan has announced three new electric vehicles that represent the future for all three models currently manufactured in Nissan Sunderland Plant:

  • Nissan Qashqai — the original crossover, the UK’s best-selling car of 2022 and which represents one in five of all cars built in the UK.
  • Nissan JUKE — the rule-breaking compact crossover which has sold more than one million units.
  • Nissan LEAF — the world’s first mass market EV, of which more than a quarter of a million have been built in Sunderland.

The three future models will be inspired by three exciting all-electric concept models:

  • The Nissan Hyper Urban Concept —  a crossover EV with a sleek and modern aesthetic.
  • The Nissan Hyper Punk Concept — an all-electric compact crossover with an exterior aesthetic defined by multifaceted and polygonal surfaces.
  • The Nissan Chill-Out Concept — unveiled in 2021 and previously confirmed as the inspiration for a future EV to be built in Sunderland.

“The EV36Zero project puts our Sunderland plant, Britain’s biggest ever car factory, at the heart of our future vision,” says Uchida. 

“It means our UK team will be designing, engineering and manufacturing the vehicles of the future, driving us towards an all-electric future for Nissan in Europe.” 

National support for international benefit

In support of the electrification — as well as to benefit the 30,000 jobs supported in the UK supply chain — the UK Government has awarded £15m in funding for a £30m collaborative project led by Nissan. 

“Nissan’s investment is a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry, which already contributes a massive £71bn a year to our economy,” comments UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

“This venture will no doubt secure Sunderland’s future as the UK’s Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing. Making the UK the best place to do business is at the heart of our economic plan. We will continue to back businesses like Nissan to expand and grow their roots in the UK every step of the way as we make the right long term decisions for a brighter future.” 

The project aims to strengthen the technical expertise and R&D zero emission vehicle capability of the Nissan Technical Centre (NTCE) in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, increasing opportunities for securing additional UK R&D investment in future vehicle models.

“Nissan has a proud history in car manufacturing in Sunderland and their continued commitment to the UK shows how our support for business is getting results – helping create thousands of jobs and solidifying Britain’s place as the world’s 8th largest manufacturer,” adds Jeremy Hunt, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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