Nissan has announced it is investing £52 million in aluminium production at the Sunderland plant to build a new lightweight and greener Qashqai model.
The hood, doors and front fenders are stamped from aluminium alloy, which makes theQashqai body 60kg lighter than the previous version. Nissan says this improves efficiency on emissions and helps accommodate more technology, including the Qashqai’s electrifiedpowertrain.
The investment at the Sunderland plant means the additions of a second extra-large press line that was launched last year, and the cyclone which is a recycling facility that can handle more than seven tons of metal an hour, ensuring less waste and a greener production process.
As hoods and doors are stamped into shape, scrap material is shredded and extracted,keeping aluminium grades separate.
The separation ensures that Nissan can return high-quality scrap to suppliers. Thesuppliers turn the separated aluminium scrap into aluminium alloy sheets and redeliverthem to Nissan for use in production.
Nissan says this “closed-loop” recycling system reclaims scrap aluminium, reducing waste and CO2 emissions, contributing the goal of has set itself of achieving carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050.
Recycling scrap aluminium saves more than 90% of the energy needed to create acomparable amount from raw materials.Nissan recently announced plans for a major expansion to its renewable energy generation in Sunderland with a proposed 20MW solar farm extension. If approved, the 37,000-panel extension would result in 20% of the plant’s energy coming from all onsite renewables, enough to build every single zero-emission Nissan LEAF sold in Europe.