Electrifying partnership between Nissan and Aston


18 February 2015

Nissan has set sparks flying by teaming up with Aston University to challenge business and engineering design students to present their ideas on the future of electric vehicles (EV). In partnership with Aston University in Birmingham, Nissan has launched a competition in which students have the opportunity to step into Nissan employee’s shoes and address a business challenge in the field of EV motoring.

Throughout the competition, Nissan will reach hundreds of the next generation of leaders in marketing, business and engineering. The second year business and engineering students have been asked to come up with a strategy to promote the enV200, specifically focusing on the case for small to medium sized businesses (SMEs).

The teams have presented their plan to an experienced panel of Nissan executives, Aston professors, and other high profile partnership organisations at a conference organised by Nissan, the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, this week (18 th February).

Within those teams the most promising students will be offered the chance to take part in the assessment centre for a placement at Nissan. As part of the placements, the winning students will work alongside the Nissan electric vehicle product team to develop their ideas whilst gaining priceless knowledge and experience of the inner workings at Nissan.

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles, Nissan Europe said: “Electric vehicle technology is the future; there is no doubt about that.
"In the UK specifically, the electric vehicle market is growing at a phenomenal rate and it’s a truly exciting time for all of those at the forefront of it all.
“Having young talent joining the conversation and playing a role in the shift to zero emission mobility is something I really encourage and I look forward to exploring some of the ideas that Aston’s students have come up with and helping them to develop these further.”

Professor Bjorn Birgisson, Executive Dean of Aston’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, said: “Engineering and applied sciences are very much at the forefront of developing low carbon technologies and solutions for the future. 

“This collaboration with Nissan is a fantastic opportunity for our students to present their engineering ideas and strategies to a leading automotive manufacturer while gaining valuable experience of electric vehicle production in the process.”

During the competition, students that entered were given a behind-the-scenes look inside Nissan’s Technical Facility in Cranfield, Bedfordshire to aid the development of their submissions. Students were provided with presentations that gave background information about Nissan’s presence in the UK as well as the development of e-NV200, and were given a tour of the facility.

In 2014, Nissan launched its second electric vehicle to the UK market, the 100% electric e-NV200, bolstering its leadership in zero emission mobility. The Nissan LEAF was launched in 2010 and has been the best-selling electric car for four years in a row. 


For further media information contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or a.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk


Kayleigh Edwards, EV and Coporate Communications Manager, Nissan Motor GB on 1923 899937 or kayleigh.edwards@nissan.co.uk or www.nissanpress.co.uk

Notes to Editors

About Nissan in the UK

  • Nissan Sunderland Plant produces the Nissan Qashqai, Note and Juke and the 100% electric Nissan LEAF
  • Production of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles began in 2012
  • Total plant volume since 1986 stands at more than seven million units with 80 per cent of production exported to 100 markets worldwide
  • Total investment made and announced since then is over £3.5 billion
  • 500,238 units were produced at Sunderland plant in 2014
  • In 2014, one in three cars built in the UK was a Nissan
  • Sunderland Plant currently employs more than 6,700 people
  • Nissan's European Design Centre is located in Paddington, London and employs around 65 people
  • Nissan's European Technical Centre is based in Cranfield, Bedfordshire and employs around 1,000 people
  • Nissan’s sales and marketing headquarters in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire employs around 190 people

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established  research-led University known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and commerce.  Professor Dame Julia King became Vice-Chancellor of the University in 2006.

Aston’s School of Engineering & Applied Science, with its tradition of quality and reputation for  cutting edge research, offers students excellent opportunities to join in the process of discovery and creativity, and prepare for an increasingly diverse and technological world. The School’s focus is very much on the inter-disciplinary nature of engineering and applied sciences, the key technologies and their interactions in today’s modern society.