Currently reading: New Coventry EV battery factory planned to open in 2025
Firms behind proposals say facility could boost regional economy by £434 million and create 6000 jobs
Joe Holding
News
3 mins read
21 October 2021

Plans for a new EV battery 'gigafactory' in Coventry are advancing at pace, with the organisations behind the scheme pledging it will be in operation in 2025. 

Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport continue to pursue investment opportunities with "battery manufacturers from around the globe", with a view to raising some £2.5bn for the plant's construction over the next four years. Ultimately, they say, it will cover more than 500,000 square metres and have an annual capacity of 60GWh. It has not been confirmed how close the project is to reaching its fundraising goal.

A planning application for the facility, situated at Coventry Airport, was submitted in July, with the result set to be decided by Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council later this year. 

The plan was submitted by a newly formed joint venture partnership between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport, which claim the proposals would add £434 million in gross value to the regional economy. 

The proposal also claims that 6000 new jobs will be created, with tens of thousands added to the supply chain, and that the factory will be powered by 100% green energy, including solar and wind power.

The applicants say too that Coventry Airport is an ideal location for an EV battery factory, because it's adjacent to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, which is the UK’s largest battery research centre. 

“It's mission critical that the West Midlands secures a gigafactory, both for the future of our region’s automotive industry and the huge economic and job benefits it would bring, as well as the future of our planet,” said West Midlands mayor Andy Street.

“The West Midlands is already home to the country’s biggest car manufacturer, Europe’s largest research centre of its kind, the UK’s only battery industrialisation centre and a world-leading supply chain. A gigafactory therefore is the natural next step for the UK’s automotive heartland, and I will not rest until we have secured one." 

The proposed factory has also been backed by local MPs, Warwick District Council, Warwickshire County Council, the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Coventry site, if it reaches fruition as planned, will be one of three operational battery factories in the UK in 2025: Nissan will expand its EV battery production facilities in Sunderland, while start-up company Britishvolt plans to open its own gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland, in 2023.

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A third of all cars produced in the UK come from the West Midlands, around Coventry, by companies including Aston Martin, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.

The UK government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and with car makers increasingly switching to EVs to reduce emissions, the need for an EV battery factory in this country is growing rapidly. 

The government has also faced increasing pressure to support the development of EV battery production, following reports from the Confederation of British Industry and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders that called for progress before the UK potentially falls behind European competitors. 

“Coventry has emerged as a world-leader in battery technology,” said Coventry City Council leader George Duggins. “The city is home to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre [and] world-leading research institutions, and it’s clear to me that Coventry is the right location.

“Coventry Airport sits at the heart of this powerful automotive research cluster and is the obvious location for a UK gigafactory. Our joint-venture partnership is unique in the UK, and it creates a strong platform to attract investment and deliver more than 4000 new jobs, support our automotive sector and secure our competitive advantage.”

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russ13b 21 October 2021

No recycling facility?

peetee 22 October 2021
russ13b wrote:

No recycling facility?

 

The VW Plant at Salzgitter may well have the capacity to take the whole of Europe's redundant batteries at this time. As the volume increases there will be an opportunity for a U.K. plant to be developed to deal with our own. 

Tonrichard 21 October 2021
Isn’t this putting the cart before the horse? Where is the investment coming from without a nearby customer? Exporting EV batteries is a pipe dream as their weight and size means that production has to be close to car assembly plants. Without JLR’s involvement this is not going to happen. The big opportunity to build a Giga factory in the UK was scuppered by Brexit and Tesla’s decision to build its EU plant in Berlin.
scotty5 21 October 2021
Tonrichard wrote:

The big opportunity to build a Giga factory in the UK was scuppered by Brexit and Tesla’s decision to build its EU plant in Berlin.

The above should carry a Fake news warning.

If you took any interest in European news, Tesla or their Gigafactory, you will have known that the reason Musk went to Germany is because they offered him a 1 billion Euro subsidy. And the German taxpayer ain't too happy about it.

That particular decision was based on the highest bidder. If we had offered him 1.1 billion Euro to build his factory here, no doubt you'd be complaining we were paying over the odds to attract business and Brexit would get the blame of that too.

We're out of the EU and contrary to what people were saying, investment is happening in the UK. I know it's a tough pill to swallow for some, but get over it.

Anyone who sees another potential investment of this scale as a negative needs their head examined.

The Apprentice 21 October 2021
Tonrichard wrote:

Isn’t this putting the cart before the horse? Where is the investment coming from without a nearby customer? Exporting EV batteries is a pipe dream as their weight and size means that production has to be close to car assembly plants. Without JLR’s involvement this is not going to happen. The big opportunity to build a Giga factory in the UK was scuppered by Brexit and Tesla’s decision to build its EU plant in Berlin.

Ever been to Derby? there is quite a big Toyota plant. Nearly all Toyotas now are hybrids with various sized batteries. There is a rather big factory in Durham making Nissans, the big selling Qashqai will soon be launched as a series hybrid so another potential battery customer, they will also be making a lot more hybrids and EV's. Nissan turns out as many as JLR combined and Toyota about a 3rd. There is also Vauxhall still making quite a lot of cars, increasingly hybrid and EV, so it doesn't all revolve around JLR.

peetee 22 October 2021
The Apprentice wrote:

Tonrichard wrote:

Isn’t this putting the cart before the horse? Where is the investment coming from without a nearby customer? Exporting EV batteries is a pipe dream as their weight and size means that production has to be close to car assembly plants. Without JLR’s involvement this is not going to happen. The big opportunity to build a Giga factory in the UK was scuppered by Brexit and Tesla’s decision to build its EU plant in Berlin.

Ever been to Derby? there is quite a big Toyota plant. Nearly all Toyotas now are hybrids with various sized batteries. There is a rather big factory in Durham making Nissans, the big selling Qashqai will soon be launched as a series hybrid so another potential battery customer, they will also be making a lot more hybrids and EV's. Nissan turns out as many as JLR combined and Toyota about a 3rd. There is also Vauxhall still making quite a lot of cars, increasingly hybrid and EV, so it doesn't all revolve around JLR.

 

So are you thinking that Nissan will eschew there own batteries in favour of the Coventry PowerPoint offering ?

Similarly the government have just supported Vauxhall and Ford to develop EV components. And then there is the Blythe battery factory under way in the North East. Coventry will need something very lightweight and low cost to compete with those.  

TStag 21 October 2021

It's very interesting that JLR don't appear to be investing in this or building it. I do wonder if it's something to do with a potential shift to solid state batteries that is causing them to want to buy batteries in, rather than build their own factory

peetee 21 October 2021
TStag wrote:

It's very interesting that JLR don't appear to be investing in this or building it. I do wonder if it's something to do with a potential shift to solid state batteries that is causing them to want to buy batteries in, rather than build their own factory

 

Investing with what? JLR can't afford,on their own, to develop an EV platform. They have searched for a partner, considered an IPO and it seems that the government pot has run dry for them at least, having had millions in the past to develop electric motors, batteries and of diesel engines.  

TStag 21 October 2021

Erm you know the next Range Rover is on a platform which can be fully electrified? And the Jaguar I pace is electric

peetee 22 October 2021
TStag wrote:

Erm you know the next Range Rover is on a platform which can be fully electrified? And the Jaguar I pace is electric

Why is the present CEO looking for a partner to provide an electric platform?

Any platform that is designed to accommodate a diesel engine and electric motors is not the electric platform that Thierry Bolloré is searching for.  

As for the the iPace, a car not built anywhere near the proposed battery factory in Coventry, is no longer the "stunning" EV that it was claimed to be three years ago.

In fact in Norway, a most important EV market, the IPace is an also ran. Sale have collapsed there.