Tata to invest £4 billion in first overseas gigafactory in UK
Indian conglomerate Tata Group confirmed on Wednesday it will invest £4 billion ($5.17 billion) in a UK battery cell gigafactory to supply Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and other manufacturers, Kallanish reports.
The plant will have capacity to produce 40 gigawatt-hours of cells annually, which the government says will be enough to cover “almost half” of the battery production needed by 2030. The investment will “turbocharge” UK’s switch to zero-emissions vehicles, the Department of Business and Trade says.
The investment is a “testament to the strength of our car manufacturing industry and its skilled workers,” comments UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. “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.”
Confirming the project, Tata Sons’ chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said the Tata Group will bring state-of-the-art technology to the UK to help power the automotive sector’s transition to electric mobility. “I also want to thank His Majesty’s government, which has worked so closely with us to enable this investment,” he adds.
The government said it will publish details of its support to Tata Sons, the owner of JLR, in “due course.” Month-long negotiations reportedly sought £500 million in public support, but that figure is yet to be confirmed.
The plant, expected to create 4,000 jobs is set to start production in 2026. After a gradual ramp-up it will provide cells to JLR future battery electric models including the Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar brands. There’s also potential to supply other car manufacturers both in the UK and Europe.
Mike Hawes, ceo of automotive trade body SMMT, described the news as “a shot in the arm of UK automotive industry, our economy and British manufacturing jobs, demonstrating the country is open for business and electric vehicle production.” He adds that producing batteries in the UK is “essential if we are to anchor wider vehicle production here for the long term.”
The SMMT and other industry players are calling for the promotion of the UK’s strengths and support overseas to ensure the country remains competitive amid fierce global pressures.
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