Nissan EVs in a gallery in Japan

Nissan to spend £13bn on new EVs and improved battery production

Image credit: REUTERS/Androniki Christodoulou

Nissan has announced its electrification strategy for the coming decades, which involves spending more than £13bn on developing new electric vehicles (EVs). It aims for half its global output to be made up of EVs by 2030.

At a news conference in Japan, Nissan executives explained that the automaker is pressing ahead to “democratise” EVs by producing a wide and attractive electric offering in the next decade. This strategy is known as 'Nissan Ambition 2030'.

Gupta said Nissan would spend ¥2tn (£13.2bn) on EVs over the next five years. It has set an EV sales target of 75 per cent of European sales by fiscal year 2026 and 40 per cent of sales in the US by 2030. It also aims for half of its overall output to be electric by the end of the decade.

Nissan plans to develop 23 new electric models by 2030 (15 fully electric, 8 hybrid or with batteries recharged via a petrol engine). It aims to also ramp up battery production, reaching 52GWh of capacity annually by 2026 and 130GWh by 2030. By the end of the decade, the company also hopes that “virtually every new model” will have lidar systems to enable a certain degree of autonomous driving.

However, Nissan executives did not explicitly state that the company would end production of vehicles with internal combustion engines.

It also plans to introduce all-solid-state batteries towards the end of the decade, which it estimates will be one-third faster to charge. This technology, which provides greater range and power density, are attractive to consumers, investors, and manufacturers, but they cannot yet be delivered at scale. Nissan plans to build a pilot plant for all-solid-state batteries within the next three years.

CEO Makoto Uchida commented: “The role of companies to address societal needs is increasingly heightened. With Nissan Ambition 2030, we will drive the new age of electrification, advance technologies to reduce carbon footprint, and pursue new business opportunities.”

“We want to transform Nissan to become a sustainable company that is truly needed by customers and society.”

The announcement is good news for Sunderland, which is home to a Nissan plant. COO Ashwani Gupta told PA Media at the press conference: “Europe will take the lead on electrification around the world for Nissan. In Europe, Sunderland is the one which will take the lead towards electrification […] Sunderland is the leader, in collaboration with the government, suppliers, dealers, and most importantly, our employees.”

He added that it was not only leading in EV production but also battery manufacturing and locally produced green power, thanks to its EV36zero build hub.  The £1bn hub, which was launched in July, is an 'EV manufacturing ecosystem' centred on the Sunderland plant; this concept will be exported to other Nissan plants worldwide.

Nissan also revealed more details about the crossover EV it will produce in Sunderland. It issued concept images of the Nissan Chill-Out, which it describes as a “mobile haven”.

Gupta said: “Expressing its breathtaking acceleration and feeling of control, this new generation EV represents the shape of things to come. Sleek design, energising driving, advanced safety technologies, and a productive and comfortable interior space.”

At the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow earlier this month, a group of over 100 countries, companies, states and cities committed to phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 on ‘Transport Day’.

However, some of the most important players were notably absent from the list of signatories. Major signatories include Ford, General Motors, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, BYD Co, and Jaguar Land Rover from the automotive industry and the countries of India, New Zealand and Poland. However, the world’s top two automakers (Toyota and Volkswagen) and top two car markets (China and the US) were not prepared to sign the pledge. Nissan did not sign the pledge.

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