Nissan plans a U.K. battery factory, a lift for the post-Brexit auto industry



Jack Ewing, Eshe Nelson | NY Times

The Japanese carmaker Nissan announced plans on Thursday to build a battery factory near its plant in northeastern England, and to manufacture a new electric crossover S.U.V. there, bolstering the chances that Britain’s auto industry can survive Brexit and the transition to electric vehicles.

Envision AESC, a Chinese-owned company that already provides Nissan with batteries at the assembly plant in Sunderland, will invest 450 million pounds, or $620 million, in a new so-called gigafactory to supply electric cars made at the site. It is part of a partnership between the two companies that began when Nissan sold AESC to Envision in 2019.

Domestic battery production is crucial to the future of Britain’s auto industry. Under the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union, cars made with imported batteries will be subject to punishing tariffs when exported to the continent.

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