Envision plans major expansion of Sunderland battery plant

Envision, the company that runs the UK’s only current EV battery factory, has outlined plans to massive expand its production capacity.

The Sunderland factory currently has an annual production capacity of 1.7GWh, which is set to rise to 11GWh from 2024 when it’s expanded to supply batteries for the next-generation Nissan Leaf, which will be reinvented as a crossover.

The Sunderland battery plant was opened in 2012 to make batteries for the Leaf that’s built at Nissan’s nearby car factory. Envision took ownership of the site when it bought Nissan’s battery business, AESC, in 2019. 

Envision CEO Lei Zhang told the Financial Times that battery production in Sunderland would eventually rise to 38GWh.

Envision is also partnering with Renault to build a new battery factory in Douai, France, and Zhang added that talks are ongoing with “global car makers” for a supply of batteries from the two sites.

“The electric car has become the starting point for the green industrial revolution,” he told the FT.

Envision is based in Shanghai and is China’s largest producer of wind turbines. It also has battery factories in China, the US and Japan, and is poised to list its battery business on the stock market in the near future.


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