Nissan will build the next-generation versions of the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai and Juke alongside the next Leaf at its factory in Sunderland, thanks to fresh investment of up to £2 billion by the firm and its partners – meaning all three models produced at the site will become fully electric.
The Qashqai and Juke have previously only been offered with combustion-engined powertrains, but their successors will be electric cars.
Both will also gain bold new styling, drawing heavily on the Hyper Urban and Hyper Punk concept cars shown at the Tokyo motor show recently.
The investment will include up to £1.12bn by Nissan in its UK operations, with the rest provided by partners such as battery partner Envision AESC.
Nissan has been clear that the £2bn figure doesn't include UK government investment but comes purely from the firm ands its partners, although it is in talks with goverment officials over further support for the plant, which could take the form of financial incentives.
The new plans for Sunderland build on the 2021 launch of the EV36Zero hub at the facility, which will now encompass the production of three EVs – and will now include three battery gigafactories, the third of which is planned to be built in the International Manufacturing Plant next to the site and will be "more or less" the same size as the one under construction.
The Sunderland site is currently home to production of the current petrol-engined Qashqai and Juke models, along with the second-generation Leaf EV.
Nissan had previously announced one electric car – a sleek new SUV that is now confirmed as the Leaf successor – would be built in Sunderland. The investment in the original phase of the scheme amounted to £1bn, including £423 million from Nissan.
The company said that the next investment by itself and its partners will be worth up to £2bn – meaning the move to convert the plant fully to EV production will represent a £3bn investment.