An employee assembles parts on the passenger doors of new Nissan automobiles as they travel along the production line at the Nissan motor vehicle assembly plant in Sunderland, UK

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Nissan on Thursday announced plans to build a £ 1 billion ($ 1.38 billion) gigafactory in Sunderland, UK, to significantly boost the country’s electric vehicle plans.

The Japanese automaker said it launched the project, called the Nissan EV36Zero, with Envision AESC, a battery technology company, and Sunderland City Council.

Nissan, which has been manufacturing in Sunderland for 35 years, said the hub would create 1,650 new jobs: 900 at Nissan and 750 at Envision AESC.

So-called gigafactories – a term coined by Tesla CEO Elon Musk – are systems that manufacture batteries for electric vehicles on a large scale.

This is a development story and will be updated shortly.