The firm has today announced its commitment to produce a future generation of electric vehicle (EV) batteries at the plant.
The investment into the battery plant on Wearside will help safeguard 300 highly skilled jobs in manufacturing, maintenance and engineering.
Since EV production began in Sunderland in 2013, a £420m investment, the battery plant and Nissan LEAF production have supported more than 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in its UK supply chain.
The announcement comes at the beginning of a landmark year for Nissan as it marks its 30th anniversary on Wearside – now the largest plant in the history of the UK car industry.
Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan Europe, said: “With 200,000 customers around the world already, the Nissan LEAF has transformed the performance and perception of EVs and made Nissan the undisputed leader in EV technology.
“Today’s announcement reflects Nissan’s intention to remain EV leaders for many years to come, with our UK operations at the heart of our future innovations.”
Paving the way for the investment is a groundbreaking new £19.4m project that will team Nissan with new academic and technology partners in the UK, supported with a £9.7m grant from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to look at new technologies.
The other consortium members include Hyperdrive Innovation, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, Newcastle University and Zero Carbon Futures, who will work together on key areas of battery development.
Willcox added: “I congratulate all my colleagues in the UK on securing this future technology, which is just reward for the second-to-none quality levels they have achieved since launching battery manufacturing in Sunderland, which remains the biggest UK car plant of all time.”
Nissan’s UK battery plant is one of three Nissan battery production sites globally, also providing battery modules for Nissan’s all-electric van, the e-NV200, which is manufactured in the company’s plant in Barcelona, Spain.