Nissan has announced that it will build a major new electric vehicle (EV) hub here in the North East. Known as EV36Zero, the EV hub has an initial £1 billion investment to build a ‘manufacturing ecosystem’. The site will bring together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production.
Nissan has partnered on the project with Envision AESC and Sunderland City Council. Nissan will build a new generation, all-electric model in Sunderland whilst Envision will create a new smart, low-carbon EV battery site. EV36ZERO should generate over 6,000 new jobs in Sunderland and along Nissan’s UK supply chain.
EV36Zero and Envision
Never heard of Envision? The company – founded in China only 12 years ago – is a global leader in green tech. Envision ranked fourth in installers of wind turbines in the world last year. That’s seriously impressive for a business founded in 2009.
We’re excited to have Envision’s battery division investing heavily in the North East of England at the EV36Zero hub. They are aiming to manufacture enough batteries to power 100,000 Nissan electric vehicles a year!
Envision has a huge focus on R&D – 70% of its global workforce are in research or technical roles – and it has nine Global Innovation Centres as far apart as Houston and Denmark. Investing in innovation is vital to drive the uptake of EVs. The Department for Transport estimates that 0.5 million cars registered in the UK are ultra-low emission, but that’s a drop in the ocean – an estimated 1.4% – of the total cars on our roads.
The challenge of EV batteries
Ecocabs’ aim is to have all of our vehicles, including our midi-coaches, running on sustainable energy. We’ve achieved the milestone of having 100% of our 4/6-seater taxis being electric or petrol hybrids (PHEV), but we want to do more. We already run EV and PHEV minibuses and we take great efforts to make our whole fleet as energy efficient as possible. However, only when battery-technology enables us to make long journeys in large vehicles can we go electric across the board. Having a green tech company of Envision’s stature in the region is a very welcome development.
Today’s huge announcement about the EV36Zero hub is positive. We feel more optimistic than ever about the future and can look forward to Ecocabs being a fully-sustainable taxi company. Exciting times!