Nissan to build $1.4 billion UK electric plant

Nissan is betting on Britain to supercharge its European electric future.

On Thursday (July 1) the Japanese firm and its Chinese partner pledged $1.4 billion to build a giant battery plant that will power 100,000 vehicles a year, including a new crossover model.

Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta:

"Production of this vehicle and its batteries will create 6,200 jobs in the UK."

Gupta was in Sunderland in the north of England for the announcement, along with China's Envision AESC.

The industry is facing the most profound technological shift in a century.

It's racing to secure battery supply close to the factories where they will make the new cleaner electric vehicles of the future.

Nissan's investment, supported by the local government in Sunderland, cements its wager on Britain.

"It gives me a great pleasure to announce today all new Nissan electric vehicles for the production in the UK. This new generation crossover will be building on the success of Qashqai and Juke and help even more customers to make the switch to E.V.."

As the world powers try to slash carbon emissions by scrapping the fossil-fuel guzzling internal combustion engine, Britain has pledged to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2030.

But going electric has challenges.

China dominates the production of electric vehicle batteries.

As well as the processing of the core minerals such as rare earths used to make them.