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UK: £1.65m funding boost for Nissan LEAF supplier

Green funding news – by GreenWise staff
24th January 2012
A North East manufacturer of automotive parts has received £1.65 million of Government funding that will help it supply electric vehicle (EV) battery components to the Nissan LEAF.

Japanese-owned Nifco UK, based in Stockton on Tees, is one four companies to be awarded funding this week from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), set up by the Government to boost growth and jobs in the private sector. The funding will go towards an £11 million project at Nifco to equip a new factory with energy efficient equipment.

New energy efficient factory

The new plant will enable Nifco to supply plastic moulded components for the battery packs for the Nissan LEAF, the first mass produced electric car to be made in the UK. Nifco’s new factory and move into the EV market are expected to create 128 new jobs at and safeguard 158 current jobs at the company.

UK production of the LEAF is not due to commence at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland until 2013, but the carmaker’s new lithium-ion battery UK plant is set to begin production in the early part of this year.

Nifco, which has made plastic parts for Nissan for over two decades and supplies other carmakers such as Honda and Toyota, will open its new 130,000 square foot factory within the next two weeks, from where it will manufacture the fully recyclable, plastic injection moulded components for the LEAF battery pack.

The multi-million pound contract with Nissan will not only secure Nifco a share of the UK’s growing EV market, but reportedly help the company’s turnover grow from £25 million in 2010 to an estimated £60 million by 2015.
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