Advertisement Feature

EV36Zero and Nissan’s road to carbon neutrality

How the EV36Zero hub in Sunderland is set to take Nissan a step closer to its sustainability goals

NIssan Leaf parked in the desert

With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars due to be banned from 2030, the automotive industry is experiencing a rapid shift to electrification. The change will help the sector reduce its carbon footprint, ensuring that road transport is ready for a sustainable future.

Manufacturers aren’t just focusing on electric drivetrains for their vehicles, though. Significant investment is being made to address the entire ecosystem, from car to battery production and the issue of recycling EVs and their components once they reach the end of their lives.

For Nissan, sustainability sits at the heart of its future. The motoring giant’s goal is to achieve carbon neutrality across operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050. Prior to that, in 2030, all new Nissan vehicles are expected to be electrified in the key markets of Japan, China, the US and Europe.

The manufacturer’s commitment to these goals includes furthering battery innovations through solid-state technology, developing battery ecosystems and collaborating with the energy sector to decarbonise power grids, and greater productivity and energy efficiency in the vehicle assembly process.

An EV ecosystem

Nissan already has a solid foundation in the electric-car space thanks to the LEAF.  The world’s first mass-market electric car, the LEAF launched in 2010 and has sold more than 500,000 vehicles to date. It has endured and evolved as electric technology has developed. Now, Nissan’s new electric crossover is at the centre of ambitious plans for a new battery and vehicle manufacturing hub in the North East of England.

Called EV36Zero, the EV hub will be built in Sunderland and represents a £1 billion investment from Nissan and its partners, securing more than 1,500 jobs directly, with a further 4,500 jobs created in the wider supply chain.  As part of the £1 billion announcement, Nissan will invest up to £423 million to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK. The new crossover will be built on the Alliance CMF-EV platform, with a forecasted production capacity of up to 100,000 units per year.

Nissan President and CEO, Makoto Uchida, described EV36Zero as “part of Nissan's pioneering efforts to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the entire lifecycle of our products”. Uchida added: “Our comprehensive approach includes not only the development and production of EVs, but also the use of on-board batteries as energy storage and their reuse for secondary purposes.”

Nissan already has 35 years of manufacturing history in Sunderland, and the £1 billion EV36Zero expansion will help transform part of the area into a cutting-edge gigafactory. Initially, the factory will bring a capacity of 9GWh, with the potential to generate up to 35GWh with future investment from Envision AESC. What’s more, the hub promises to increase the affordability of UK-produced EV batteries – these will utilise a new Samsung-developed Gen5 rechargeable battery cell with 30 per cent more energy density to boost range and efficiency. The goal is to help bring down the price of batteries and EVs, making Nissan vehicles more accessible to customers as the clock ticks closer to 2030.

Envision AESC will also deploy advanced AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) smart technology to constantly monitor, analyse and optimise power consumption, manufacturing and maintenance processes at the hub. This will help refine the production process, finding the most energy-efficient way to build EVs and batteries with the goal of producing 100,000 Nissan electric vehicles a year.

Creating an electricity ‘Microgrid’

Nissan and Envision AESC’s plans for the North East are part of an ambitious Sunderland City Council project to deliver a 100 per cent renewable electricity ‘Microgrid’ in the area and slash 55,000 tonnes of carbon per year[1].

Nissan’s existing wind and solar farms will be incorporated into EV36Zero, with ten additional solar farms expected to be created. These new farms will have a direct connection to renewable energy from the UK grid to supply Nissan and other automotive companies at the nearby International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).

There are also plans for EV36Zero to include a battery storage facility that uses second-life Nissan/Envision AESC batteries, allowing for excess energy generated during the day to be captured and used at another time to balance out demands on the grid.

Nissan’s existing Sunderland plant, which has been in operation since 1986, already produces the Nissan LEAF, Qashqai and Juke, and supports 46,000 jobs. The next phase in its journey will not only solidify Nissan’s position in the UK, but help the manufacturer in its road to carbon neutrality.

Discover more about the Nissan LEAF

[1] Figures provided by Sunderland City Council

Recommended

Listen to the Auto Express podcast Nissan EV special
Auto Express podcast Nissan EV special
Advertisement Feature

Listen to the Auto Express podcast Nissan EV special

Vicki Butler-Henderson and the Auto Express podcast team discuss the past, present and future of EVs with Nissan’s James Bird
4 Oct 2021
Five reasons why the Qashqai is a family favourite
Blue Nissan Qashqai parked
Advertisement Feature

Five reasons why the Qashqai is a family favourite

From increased interior space to top tech, the Nissan Qashqai is a great choice to get your family out and about
13 Sep 2021
Everything you need to know about the Nissan LEAF
Nissan Leaf
Advertisement Feature

Everything you need to know about the Nissan LEAF

A look at the design, range, tech and safety features of Nissan’s celebrated electric car
22 Jul 2021
Nissan’s e-Pedal explained
White Nissan Leaf parked outside a restaurant
Advertisement Feature

Nissan’s e-Pedal explained

How e-Pedal has revolutionised and simplified the electric-car driving experience
21 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911
Porsche 911
Porsche 911 Coupe

Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911

How perfect timing led a Porsche 911 fanatic to buy back his old car
14 Oct 2021
New Ford Focus unveiled with 2021 facelift and tech updates
Ford Focus ST Line - front
Ford Focus Hatchback

New Ford Focus unveiled with 2021 facelift and tech updates

Ford has given the Focus hatchback a refresh for 2021, with a new design and an improved infotainment suite
14 Oct 2021
Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S Tour: long-term test review
Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S Tour long termer - first report header
Volkswagen ID.3 Hatchback

Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S Tour: long-term test review

First report: the impressive Volkswagen ID.3 EV joins our fleet fresh from winning an award from our sister title
15 Oct 2021