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Nissan has confirmed it will expand its electric vehicle production in Sunderland, creating 1,650 new jobs.
The car manufacturer plans to build its new generation of all-electric cars at its Sunderland plant, in conjunction with Chinese partner Envision AESC, who will build a new electric battery plant next door.
It forms part of a £1bn electric vehicle hub that will support thousands of jobs in the UK supply chain. Nissan will invest £423 million of that sum into a new generation all-electric car.
Manufacturing this new model alone will create 909 jobs, and a further 4,500 in the supply chain, the company said.
Envision, which will manufacture batteries for as many as 100,000 Nissan vehicles, will create 750 new jobs and preserve 300 existing roles. Together, the plants will form the UK’s first “gigafactory” for electric vehicle batteries.
In April, Nissan had to place 800 staff on furlough due to a shortage of computer chips slowing down the production process.
At the start of this year, the company confirmed it would keep its Sunderland plant open after the UK-EU post-Brexit trade deal had been agreed.
From 2030, sales of new cars and vans powered by petrol or diesel will be banned. As part of the trade deal with the EU, the UK must ramp up the level of electric car components it manufactures in the UK from 2024.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Nissan's announcement was "a major vote of confidence in the UK" and "a pivotal moment in our electric vehicle revolution".
However, shadow business secretary Ed Miliband said ministers could not be complacent.
"Only this week, the SMMT [The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders] said that the government was falling behind our competitors and the Faraday Institution estimates we need seven gigafactories by 204