Supporting electric vehicle production in the North East

Envision AESC reveals plans for UK first ‘at scale’ Gigafactory to facilitate electric vehicle production in the North East.

Envision AESC is the pioneering battery division of global green tech company Envision Group. It has recently welcomed formal planning permission for a manufacturing plant at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) in Sunderland, UK. It is hoped that the development of the Gigafactory will support electric vehicle production in the North East region.

Creation of green jobs

The 9GWh-capacity Gigafactory, with highly advanced battery technology, will form part of a £1bn partnership between Nissan UK and Sunderland City Council to construct an electric vehicle hub encouraging next-generation electric vehicle production and propelling the shift to net-zero carbon mobility.

This recent planning decision guarantees Envision AESC investment of £450m as part of the groundbreaking project, generating 750 green jobs and protecting 300 jobs from its current Sunderland plant.

Construction of the new building on IAMP – which traverses land in South Tyneside and Sunderland – should start in 2022 to strengthen electric vehicle battery production in 2024. This will clear the path for a possible further investment of £1.8bn on the site to generate 35GWh capacity and 4,500 new high-value green jobs by 2030.

Supplying batteries for electric vehicles

The company’s current Sunderland plant has been providing batteries for Nissan’s LEAF electric vehicle for the last nine years. The novel scaled up Gigafactory will deliver batteries to power more than 100,000 EVs each year, employing innovative Gen5 battery cells with a third more energy density to enhance range, efficacy, and exceptional performance, including 100% safety record/zero critical incidents.

This sizeable funding will power Nissan’s next-generation EVs, as well as support the growing localisation of vehicle parts and components manufacture, advancing technology, and ensuring batteries and EVs are less expensive and more accessible to an increasing number of consumers.

Envision AESC’s new Gigafactory will be its most sustainable to date, powered by 100% renewable energy and supported by an £80m microgrid being built by Sunderland City Council. As well as this, the plant will deploy integrated AIoT smart technology to observe and enhance energy consumption, calculate demand and maintenance needs and exploit battery storage facilities to control energy supply intermittency.

Affordable electric vehicles

Envision AESC UK Managing Director Chris Caygill commented: “We are extremely pleased with today’s decision, which means we can get on with the important job of building the plant and recruitment to fully resource the project team.

“We are immensely proud of the work we have done with our strategic partners Nissan UK and Sunderland City Council so far, which has laid the foundations for affordable EVs and sustainable growth in the region for the next generations.

“As a growing global business, we will continue to push the boundaries of battery technology, which has made us a world-leading battery supplier, with a safety record that boasts no critical incidents during the last 10 years.”

Nissan Sunderland Plant Vice President, Manufacturing, Alan Johnson added: “We welcome the news that planning permission has been approved for Envision AESC’S new Gigafactory.

“This is a fundamental part of our EV36Zero project, bringing together electric vehicle production, battery manufacturing and renewables, and we’re all excited to see the progress being made.”

Supporting business

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are delighted to see this hugely ambitious development move forward.  IAMP is a hugely significant development, and its ability to attract and then support businesses in advanced manufacturing is second to none in terms of the assets of the site itself and the talent pool we have to drive it. We look forward to seeing Envision AESC move forward with this game-changing Gigafactory on a site that we are proud to be bringing forward in partnership with South Tyneside Council.”

Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader at South Tyneside Council, concluded: “This is a huge boost for the local economy, and indeed for UK Plc, part of a wider £1bn investment that will secure and create hundreds – thousands – of jobs.

“This is what we hoped IAMP would deliver when we embarked on this partnership with Sunderland City Council, and so, seeing Envision AESC’s plans advance is vindication of our commitment to this important job-creating site.”

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