Tata Group to build battery factory in the UK
The Tata Group will build its first battery cell factory outside India in the UK. The British government has now officially confirmed what had already become apparent.
At the beginning of February, it was leaked that Tata Motors was looking for a location for its European battery cell factory in Spain and the UK. However, according to a BBC report, it had already become clear at the end of May that the UK site in Bridgwater in the southwestern English county of Somerset was to be the favourite.
The exact location of the UK cell factory is not named in the British government’s announcement, but the fact that Tata will locate a large cell production plant in the country – and not in Spain – is confirmed. According to the report, the Indian company will invest more than four billion pounds (currently about 4.6 billion euros) in the battery cell factory, which is expected to create up to 4,000 direct jobs. The factory is scheduled to go into operation in 2026 with an initial annual capacity of 40 gigawatt-hours and will supply cells for JLR’s future BEV models as well as potentially for other car manufacturers.
According to the joint announcement by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office and Kemi Badenoch’s Department of Trade and Industry, the new “gigafactory” will supply almost half of the battery production needed by 2030 – driving the UK’s shift to zero-emission vehicles. It is “one of the biggest investments ever in the UK automotive industry”. But: Tata states in its own announcement that the investment includes solutions for electromobility and also stationary energy storage – so not only for electric cars.
There are no details yet on the type of battery cells, such as the format or cell chemistry, or on the planned supply chain. In the announcement, Downing Street does refer to the Automotive Transformation Fund (developing an internationally competitive supply chain for electric vehicles in the UK) and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (research and private investment in new supply chains for low-carbon vehicles). However, it does not say whether and to what extent Tata will receive subsidies.
“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, Jaguar Land Rover,” said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons. “With this strategic investment, the Tata group further strengthens its commitment to the UK, alongside our many companies operating here across technology, consumer, hospitality, steel, chemicals, and automotive.”