Jaguar Land Rover’s owner Tata Sons has announced plans to build a large electric vehicle battery factory in the UK. The £4 billion “gigafactory” is predicted to employ up to 4,000 people and will be located in Somerset.
The factory will have a capacity of 40GWh when fully operational, making it one of the largest battery plants in Europe. This could supply almost half of the UK’s EV production needs by 2030 according to estimates.
The announcement comes after the collapse of plans for the BritishVolt battery factory. It is seen as a lifeline for the UK car industry, which faced threats from lack of investment in EV technology.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Tata’s decision is a “huge vote of confidence in Britain.” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps called it the biggest investment in the UK car industry in 40 years.
The factory will initially supply batteries for Jaguar, Land Rover and other Tata Motors vehicles. In the future, it could also supply other brands.
Building batteries in the UK is key to the long-term future of the country’s car industry. Currently, there is only one other major battery factory in the pipeline after BritishVolt’s collapse – an extension of the Envision plant supplying Nissan.
The Tata investment strengthens the group’s commitment to the UK across its technology, consumer, hospitality, steel, chemicals and automotive businesses. Jaguar plans to become an all-electric brand by 2025 as part of the transition to cleaner transportation.