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Tata’s £4bn plant to supply almost half of UK’s future battery requirement

The Government have announced that the Tata Group is to invest over £4 billion setting up a new electric vehicle  battery plant (aka gigafactory), in Bridgewater, Somerset, which will create thousands of jobs across the supply chain.

Rishi Sunak hailed it as an ‘incredibly proud’ moment for the country’s automotive industry and described it as a testament to the strength of the UK car manufacturing industry and its skilled workers.

Tata Motors owns Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which will be the anchor customer of the new gigafactory, although other manufacturers will benefit from its annual capacity of 40GWh, a figure that represents almost half of the battery production that the Faraday Institution estimates the UK will need by 2030.

Batteries are expected to begin coming off the production line in 2026.

N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, said: ‘The Tata group is deeply committed to a sustainable future across all of our business. Today, I am delighted to announce the Tata group will be setting up one of Europe’s largest battery cell manufacturing facilities in the UK. Our multi-billion pound investment will bring state-of-the-art technology to the country, helping to power the automotive sector’s transition to electric mobility, anchored by our own business, Jaguar Land Rover.

‘With this strategic investment, the Tata group further strengthens its commitment to the UK, alongside our many companies operating here across technology, consumer, hospitality, steel, chemicals, and automotive. I also want to thank His Majesty’s Government, which has worked so closely with us to enable this investment.’

The government say that details of the ‘support’ given to Tata will be published in due course – earlier reports suggested that subsidies in the form of grants, energy subsidies and other training and research funding would be part of the agreed package.

Ben Nelmes, Chief Executive of New AutoMotive, the independent transport research organisation, said: ‘This is a welcome vote of confidence in the UK’s plans to transition to electric vehicles. Ambitious climate policies such as ministers’ plans for a zero emission vehicle mandate should make the UK a more inviting investment opportunity and help to further reduce the cost of electric cars and vans for motorists and businesses. The government should build on this success and bring forward a strategy for battery manufacturing so that Britain can benefit from new green technologies.’

Colin Walker, Head of Transport at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: ‘80% of the cars built in the UK are exported. Over 70% of these go the EU, the US and China, all of whom are committed to making the move to electric vehicles. If the UK’s car industry doesn’t evolve to meet that demand, it could find itself losing over £13bn a year in export revenue by 2030.

‘The construction of this battery factory is vital if the UK’s car industry is to move with the times, continue to employ tens of thousands of people, and generate billions in export income.

‘And it’s what the public wants. 53% of those polled by the ECIU back the £500million package that the Government has offered to enable its construction in the UK, with only 27% opposing it. After all, renewable energy and clean technology is the sector the public believes is most likely to create long-term growth for the UK economy .’

 

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