Nissan said on Friday it will invest 1.12 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) to build electric versions of two popular crossover models at its UK plant in a fresh boost for Britain's auto industry amid the switch to electric vehicles.

The Japanese automaker said its plans for electric versions of the Qashqai and Juke - which are currently produced at the Sunderland plant - will require an investment of up to 2 billion pounds in a third battery plant in the UK and infrastructure projects.

Nissan did not provide additional details on those investments.

Japan's third-biggest automaker said it would announce the names of the new EV models and timings for production launches at a later date.

"With electric versions of our core European models on the way, we are accelerating towards a new era for Nissan," CEO Makoto Uchida said in a statement.

Nissan has made its electric Leaf model in Sunderland for years and will continue to do so.

The automaker also announced a $1.4 billion investment in 2021 to build a second, 9 gigawatt-hour (GWh) battery plant in Sunderland with Chinese partner Envision AESC. The automaker already has one small UK battery plant that supplies the Leaf.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the investment was "a massive vote of confidence in the UK's automotive industry".

"Making the UK the best place to do business is at the heart of our economic plan," he added.

Nissan plans to offer only fully electric cars in Europe by 2030.

Earlier this year, Nissan raised its targets for EV models as it plays catch up in a segment dominated by newcomers like Tesla - saying it would launch 19 new EV models by 2030.

The Nissan EV production announcement comes just months after India's Tata Motors said it would invest 4 billion pounds in a UK EV battery plant to supply its Jaguar Land Rover factories.

Industry experts had described the Tata battery plant as good progress, but argue Britain needs much more EV battery production capacity to maintain a viable, growing auto industry. ($1 = 0.8025 pounds) (Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Sonali Paul)