A planning application for a battery gigafactory situated at Coventry Airport has been submitted, 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 deliver 5.7 million square feet of space for EV battery production and recycling, adding £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 plans come as Nissan also recently announced it would produce EV batteries in Sunderland, while start-up company Britishvolt plans to open its own gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland, in 2023.
A third of all cars produced in the UK are produced in the West Midlands 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.