Nissan to Create Battery Plant in Post-Brexit UK

Nissan has committed to a new battery production facility for its UK vehicle plant to comply with the post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union.

The automaker’s decision underlines its long-term commitment to produce vehicles at its plant in Sunderland, northeast of England, for the foreseable future. With the UK government’s decision to ban all ICE powertrains for new vehicles by 2030, Nissan needs to ensure its future BEVs achieve at least 55% of their value is derived sources within the UK or the EU.

With so much of a BEV’s value now laying within the lithium-ion battery pack, the automaker will have to produce its batteries in the UK rather than import them from Japan as it does currently. The BBC reports that the move secures the long term employment prospects of the plant’s 6,000 employees and the prospects of nearly 70,000 jobs in the supply chain.

Nissan owns the UK’s biggest car plant which sees about 70% of its product exported for sale in EU markets. Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta told the BBC: “The Brexit deal is positive for Nissan. It has created a competitive environment for Sunderland, not just inside the UK but outside as well. We’ve decided to localize the manufacture of the 62kWh battery in Sunderland so that all our products qualify [for tariff-free export to the EU]. We are committed to Sunderland for the long term under the business conditions that have been agreed.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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