Envision AESC: Construction begins on 35 GWh plant in Sunderland

Envision AESC has started construction of its battery factory at the Nissan plant in Sunderland, England. It is scheduled to go into operation in 2025 with an initial annual capacity of 12 GWh. The information on the production capacity of the planned factory has been varying for a year and a half.

Envision AESC battery factory in Sunderland was official in July 2021 been announced – at that time still with an initial capacity of 9 GWh per year. in the October 2021 Envision CEO Zhang Lei then named a starting capacity of 11 GWh, but already for 2024. The wording is now: “AESC’s second battery plant in Sunderland will have a capacity of 12 GWh and will employ more than 1,000 people after its commissioning in 2025 .”

As is well known, the company already operates a 1.9 GWh plant on site, which was built in 2012 under the direction of Nissan. At that time, AESC was still operating as a battery subsidiary under the umbrella of the Japanese car manufacturer. Now a much larger system follows. This should “manufacture the latest generation of AESC batteries with a 30 percent higher energy density (…) and produce enough batteries to supply 100,000 electric vehicles per year.” Nissan does not go into detail about the properties of the batteries. It is also not mentioned whether only cells are manufactured in the plant or whether modules and systems are also assembled. The latter can be assumed, however, since the neighboring Nissan vehicle plant will probably take over the batteries in ready-to-install condition.

The facility is part of the £1 billion EV36Zero project to create an EV hub in Sunderland. Initiators are Nissan, Envision AESC and Sunderland City Council. According to earlier information, the project consists of three interrelated initiatives that bring together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production.

In the final stage of expansion, the new Envision AESC factory will have a capacity of 35 GWh and 4,500 jobs. In principle, the battery manufacturer wants to achieve a production capacity of 300 GWh worldwide by 2026. To this end, in recent months the group has been building gigafactories in duai in France, Kentucky as in South Carolina in the USA, Ibaraki in Japan and Estremadura announced in Spain.

The fact is: several of these plants are created in close cooperation with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. One of the newest customers but also BMW: Under a recently signed agreement, Envision AESC will supply round cells to BMW’s Spartanburg plant in the United States. BMW wants to produce at least six fully electric BMW X models there by 2030. Alongside the Chinese manufacturers CATL and Eve Energy, Envision AESC is one of the three battery partners for BMW’s new class.

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