Construction begins on Envision AESC's second UK gigafactory

Construction has begun on Envision AESC’s new gigafactory in Sunderland – a state-of-the-art facility which will produce AESC’s latest generation batteries to power 100,000 electric vehicles annually.

Following our appointment as project and cost manager in 2021, we provided early-stage procurement advice to the client and a two-stage tendering process which resulted in the appointment of Wates as main contractor for the project. Since then, we have been working alongside Wates, as the design and delivery lead, to help Envision AESC reach yet another important milestone of this project.  

To mark construction starting on site, a traditional Japanese first pillar ceremony took place this month, with AESC CEO Shoichi Matsumoto tightening the bolt on the building’s ‘first pillar’ - a traditional Japanese custom on construction projects. The ceremony also marked a decade of EV battery production on Wearside with the first electric vehicle battery built back in 2012, to support production of the first-generation Nissan LEAF. 

Commitment to sustainability

The project is AESC’s second Sunderland battery plant. It will have capacity of 12 GWh and will employ more than a 1,000 people when operational in 2025. It will be powered by 100 percent net zero carbon energy, aligning with the company’s global commitment to sustainability. 

Located at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), which spans land in South Tyneside and Sunderland, the gigafactory forms part of a wider £1 billion partnership with Nissan and Sunderland City Council to create EV36Zero, an electric vehicle hub supporting next generation EV production and accelerating the transition to net zero carbon mobility. 

Darren Laybourn, Director and North East Strategic Lead, said:

Electric vehicles play an important role in the UK’s net-zero and decarbonisation ambitions and it is great to see the North East powering the drive to a renewable future. To create what will be a state-of-the-art home for the future of UK battery manufacturing, we will draw on knowledge and expertise from our team here, who helped successfully deliver the region’s first battery plant 10 years ago. We are delighted to have reached such an important milestone for the Envision facility, working as part of a highly experienced team to deliver a project that is a big step towards a greener industry and a welcome economic boost for the North East.

Envision AESC CEO Shoichi Matsumoto said:

The first pillar event marks the latest phase of Envision AESC’s investment in the UK and is a sign of our ongoing commitment to Sunderland. Our ambitious growth plans are built on a focus on quality, which is why we have over 800,000 electric vehicle batteries on the road globally with zero critical incidents. I want to pay tribute to the fantastic team in Sunderland who over the past decade have helped ensure each and every battery is built without compromise and helped make AESC a leading battery supplier.

For further information contact:

Charlotte Treadwell
UK Communications Manager

t: +44 (0) 7939 279 941