UK makes Europe’s latest battery gigafab announcement


Municipal authority Coventry City Council, in the English West Midlands, today announced plans to attract an electric vehicle battery gigafactory to the city's airport.

The city council–part of the West Midlands Combined Authority comprised of seven city councils in the region–is set to approve, at a cabinet meeting in a week's time, the establishment of a joint venture (JV) with Coventry Airport Ltd to attempt to attract a battery supplier and/or automotive manufacturer to the site.

The council, in a press release issued today, said the small regional airport could accommodate up to 4.5 million square feet of commercial space and the JV would lodge a bid for planning permission this year which, if approved, could see battery manufacturing begin at the aerodrome by 2025.

The region hosts automotive manufacturers including Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin Lagonda, as well as taxi maker the London EV Company, which is owned by China's Geely.

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Andy Street, the elected mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority, quoted in the city council statement, said talks were already under way “with the UK’s leading car makers and battery suppliers across the globe.”

The proposed joint venture company would hope to secure a government grant of £500 million (€573 million) available for a U.K. gigafab, as part of an estimated £2 billion investment in such a production line.

Coventry City Council leader George Duggins pointed out Coventry hosts the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and added: “Coventry Airport … is the obvious location for a U.K. gigafactory. It will immediately plug in to a mature automotive supply chain and skills ecosystem. The green industrial revolution is coming and I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Coventry is right at the heart of it. We have the site, the skills and the pedigree to make this work.”

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