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.