The Tata Group on Wednesday picked the UK to build a $5.2 billion electric car battery plant in one of the biggest-ever investments in the country’s automobile sector.
The gigafactory will supply batteries for group company Jaguar Land Rover as well as other manufacturers in the UK and Europe, Tata Group and the British government said in a statement.
Under the plan, the company will build its first gigafactory outside of India with an investment of £4 billion ($5.2 billion), creating up to 4,000 jobs.
“Tata group’s multi-billion-pound investment in a new battery factory in the UK is a testament to the strength of our car manufacturing industry and its skilled workers,” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.
“With the global transition to zero-emission vehicles well underway, this will help grow our economy by driving forward our lead in battery technology whilst creating as many as 4,000 jobs, and thousands more in the supply chain,” Sunak said.
British media, including the BBC, reported in May that Tata would choose the UK over Spain for the multi-billion-dollar factory.
The BBC reported that the UK government would provide subsidies worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Tata.
The new gigafactory will supply JLR’s future battery electric models including the Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar brands, with the potential to also supply other car manufacturers. Production at the new gigafactory is due to start in 2026.
“The Tata group is deeply committed to a sustainable future across our business. Today, I am delighted to announce the Tata group will be setting up one of Europe’s largest battery cell manufacturing facilities in the UK. Our multi-billion-pound investment will bring state-of-the-art technology to the country, helping to power the automotive sector’s transition to electric mobility, anchored by our own business, JLR,” Tata Sons’ chairman N. Chandrasekaran said.
Shares of Tata Motors jumped 1.35% to ₹620.45 on BSE on Wednesday. The broader Sensex index was up 0.45%.
“We are backing the UK car industry to help grow our economy as we transition to electric vehicles, and this latest investment will secure thousands of highly-skilled jobs across the country,” Kemi Badenoch, the UK’s business and trade secretary, said.
With an initial output of 40GWh, the factory will also provide almost half of the battery production that independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research Faraday Institution estimates the UK will need by 2030.
Faraday Institution had estimated in June 2022 that the UK will need around 100 GWh of supply by 2030 to meet demand for batteries for private cars, commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, buses, micromobility and grid storage.
“This new gigafactory puts us firmly in the fast lane to becoming the capital of Europe’s electric car market, and makes crystal clear how they see the UK as the place to be for their future growth,” Grant Shapps, the UK’s energy security secretary, said.
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