Japanese car giant Nissan will invest £3bn (Y563.94bn) in producing three electric vehicle (EV) models and expanding battery production and infrastructure at its factories in the UK, the company said in a press statement.

The new funds will finance Nissan’s EV26Zero hub in Sunderland, already the UK’s largest car manufacturing plant. The investment will enable the company to produce its flagship Nissan Qashqai and Juke, as well as the next generation of LEAF electric models.

In addition, as part of the expansion plans, Nissan will build an additional gigafactory to support the UK’s biggest car plant in Sunderland.

Nissan president and CEO Makoto Uchida said: “Exciting, electric vehicles are at the heart of our plans to achieve carbon neutrality. With electric versions of our core European models on the way, we are accelerating towards a new era for Nissan, for industry and for our customers.

“The EV36Zero project puts our Sunderland plant, Britain’s biggest ever car factory, at the heart of our future vision,” he continued. “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.”

News of the investment came as the UK Government is preparing to host the Global Investment Summit next week. The event will be attended by more than 200 business CEOs and is meant to showcase investment opportunities in sectors such as technology, sustainability, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and creative industries.

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The UK Government has confirmed big names attending the event, such as JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon and his counterpart from Goldman Sachs David Solomon. The event will take place at Hampton Court Palace in south-west London.

Nissan began operations in Sunderland in 1986 and has since become the UK’s largest automotive industry plant. In July 2021, the company announced £1bn to open what was back then “a new gigafactory” alongside its EV battery manufacturing partner Envision ASEC to produce lithium-ion batteries for EVs.

Speaking about Nissan’s investment, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak added: “Nissan’s investment is a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry, which already contributes a massive £71bn a year to our economy. This venture will no doubt secure Sunderland’s future as the UK’s Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing.”