A proposed battery gigafactory south of Coventry in the West Midlands will continue to be under active consideration despite Tata, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, choosing to invest £4 billion to build a similar facility.
There had been concerns that the West Midlands Gigafactory (WMG), which is a public–private joint venture between Coventry Airport and Coventry City Council, could cease to be an attractive business opportunity given the size of Tata’s investment, but Councillor Jim O’Boyle insisted the project was still progressing at speed. While Tata’s factory will likely make half the batteries needed for electric vehicle production in the UK, there is still a shortfall in planned production capacity. O’Boyle, who is in charge of regeneration and jobs for the city, said about this:
“As the electric automotive industry matures and new products come on stream I think you’ll see an increase in sales there and production. I think it’s a win-win for the industry and I think Coventry and Warwickshire will benefit from it—there’s no doubt about that.”
O’Boyle also said that batteries produced at WMG could also be used for other purposes, such as energy storage for the electricity grid. He also hinted that a deal with a prominent manufacturer was close for the site, which is the only one in the country that currently already has planning permission.
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