Our obsession with gigafactories is not a good thing – Nissan should focus on smaller, lighter vehicles

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<p>Boris Johnson visits the Envision battery manufacturing facility at the Nissan production plant in Sunderland  on 1 July – the company announced plans to build the UK's first car-battery gigafactory</p>

Boris Johnson visits the Envision battery manufacturing facility at the Nissan production plant in Sunderland on 1 July – the company announced plans to build the UK's first car-battery gigafactory

The industry’s increasing obsession with gigafactories, demonstrated by the recent move from Nissan, speaks again to range anxiety and the broader problem of electric vehicle (EV) battery scale.

The average car journey in the UK is just 1.5 miles. Yet car companies still insist on developing huge EVs to account for larger batteries – batteries that frankly wouldn’t be required if they just focused attention instead on making smaller, lighter vehicles, of which there is a clear demand.

If car companies stopped thinking about how to make a profit and started thinking instead about what their customers actually want, they’d be able to be much more innovative when it comes to their actual design, in turn enabling for lighter, more efficient models which get people where they need to go using much smaller batteries. This would not only be more cost-effective for the manufacturer and customer, but far more environmentally sustainable, which is what it’s all about.

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