Tata to build flagship car battery factory in UK

Tata, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will construct its flagship electric car battery factory in the UK.

An illustration of what the proposed UK gigafactory might look like An illustration of how the proposed UK gigafactory might look. Image generated by Dall.e

The Indian multinational group will build a 40GWh gigafactory at the Gravity Businees Park near Bridgewater in Somerset in southwest England.

Tata’s announcement follows the UK government reportedly offering subsidies worth more than €550 million to support the project.

Construction of the huge facility is expected to generate up to 9,000 direct and indirect jobs, also providing a boost to the UK’s car manufacturing sector as it transitions from traditional combustion engines to electric vehicles (EVs).

The UK currently has only one operational battery plant near Nissan’s Sunderland factory, with another one in Northumberland still in the early planning stages.

In contrast, the European Union boasts 35 plants that are either operational, under construction or planned.

Government subsidies ‘key to deal’

The Tata battery investment is seen as a catalyst for additional battery investments in the UK.

The new factory will initially focus on supplying batteries for a new lineup of electric Jaguar and Land Rover models.

Business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said, “We are backing the UK car industry to help grow our economy as we transition to electric vehicles, and this latest investment will secure thousands of highly-skilled jobs across the country.”

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “With the global transition to zero emission vehicles well underway, this will help grow our economy by driving forward our lead in battery technology whilst creating as many as 4,000 jobs, and thousands more in the supply chain.

“We can be incredibly proud that Britain has been chosen as home to Tata Group’s first gigafactory outside India, securing our place as one of the most attractive places to build electric vehicles.”

As reported by the BBC, Andy Palmer, a former executive at Nissan and Aston Martin and now at EV charging firm Pod Point, said of the government’s support for the Tata factory, “Support must come in all shapes and sizes for businesses of all shapes and sizes. One gigafactory doesn’t equal success, it equals part of the puzzle.”

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