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Nissan has locked in its Sunderland factory in the UK to become an EV-only facility, with three models with familiar names confirmed as the trio of EVs that will make up its output.
Reports earlier this year place the next Nissan Leaf as a small SUV, with 25 per cent boost to driving range, ‘crossover-coupe’ styling and a platform shared with the Nissan Ariya electric SUV, also used by the Renault Megane E-Tech - expected to be similar to the next-gen Leaf.
With Nissan leaning into battery electric vehicles, especially given its sales strength in Europe, it could find itself a strong contender in the electric car game even here in Australia once the local EV market matures.
Nissan says the next-gen Qashqai and Juke EVs will be inspired by the Hyper Urban and Hyper Punk concepts revealed for the recent Japan Mobility Show respectively, and the Leaf by the Chill-Out concept revealed in 2021.
There’s also an implication these models may wear new names going into the future with the brand stating “further information about the three models, including names, specifications and launch dates, will be released at a later time”.
Nissan President and CEO Makoto Uchida said the Sunderland plant is a "blueprint for future manufacturing" as the brand confirms all its new cars announced for Europe will be electric from here on, and expects to have a fully electric line-up on the continent by 2030.
“The EV36Zero project puts our Sunderland plant, Britain’s biggest ever car factory, at the heart of our future vision,” Uchida said.
“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.”
The UK’s PM Rishi Sunak even chimed in on the announcement, calling Sunderland the UK’s Silicon Valley and marking the investment as a fairly big deal for the nation.
“Nissan’s investment is a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry, which already contributes a massive £71 billion a year to our economy,” said the Prime Minister.
“This venture will no doubt secure Sunderland’s future as the UK’s Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing.”