Tata to build battery factory in Somerset

The location for the Tata Group's first battery cell factory outside India has been finalised. Tata's battery subsidiary Agratas has announced the Gravity Smart Campus near Bridgwater in the south-west English county of Somerset as the exact location and has purchased the land there.

Image: Agratas

The British government confirmed back in July 2023 that this will be built in the UK. The exact location is now being finalised: the battery cell factory is expected to have an annual capacity of 40 GWh and create around 4,000 jobs in the region. Production is scheduled to start in 2026.

The Gravity Smart Campus is a completely new facility. As the portal Automotive World writes, Agratas is the first company and also the main user of the business park on the M5 just outside the city due to the size of the purchased space.

“Our multi-billion-pound investment will bring state-of-the-art technology to Somerset, helping to supercharge Britain’s transition to electric mobility whilst creating thousands of jobs in the process,” says Agratas CEO Tom Flack, emphasising the company’s community-focused approach: “We care deeply about the communities we operate in, so it’s imperative to us that we work with, and listen to, our new neighbours as we build our factory in Somerset.”

Residents from the neighbourhood will receive a brochure presenting the project in more detail and people will also be invited to follow an Agratas WhatsApp channel to be informed about the progress of the construction. There will also be an information event in a few weeks’ time. However, the preparatory work is already underway. The first foundations are due to be laid this spring.

Unsurprisingly, the factory’s customers will include Tata itself and its British subsidiary JLR. In addition to automotive-grade battery cells, Agratas is probably also planning to develop batteries for other applications, such as two-wheelers, commercial vehicles and stationary energy storage systems on a commercial scale.

In mid-February, Bloomberg reported that Tata was looking into spinning off its battery division. This would make it easier for Agratas to raise funds from external investors to build the capital-intensive battery factories. A subsequent IPO in Mumbai would also be possible. However, talks on this are said to still be at an early stage.



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