13 January 2022 Update
Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council have resolved to approve outline plans for a Gigafactory which will result in £2.5bn investment, creating up to 6,000 new highly skilled jobs directly alongside thousands more in the wider supply chain in Coventry, Warwickshire and the surrounding region.
With many major automotive manufacturers based in the region, the West Midlands is the automotive skills capital of the UK and has unrivalled access to both current and future talent, as well as the existing skills needed to support the West Midlands Gigafactory.
Production ready from 2025, the 530,000sqm facility will manufacture high-tech lithium-ion batteries for the global automotive and energy storage industries. The Gigafactory will have capacity to deliver up to 60GWh by the end of the decade.
Mike Murray, Project Director commented, “This is an important milestone for the West Midlands Gigafactory. With outline planning permission supported, the site has everything in place that future investors, likely to be drawn from the global battery industry, need for a state-of-the-art Gigafactory. Thanks to this decision, we are now in strong position to progress our discussions with the global automotive and energy storage industries.
“Located at the heart of the UK’s automotive industry, the Gigafactory is closer to almost every car manufacturing plant in the UK than any of the other proposed or Gigafactories under construction making it an ideal location for global battery manufacturers.”
Powered by 100% renewable energy, plans for the Gigafactory include one of the UK’s largest rooftop arrays of photovoltaic panels to harness solar power to operate the factory. The site includes facilities to store any excess solar energy for use when its needed.
The Gigafactory will adopt a Net Zero transport and logistics strategy with excellent access to the UK’s motorway network as well as electrified road and rail options saving seven million miles of HGV traffic on roads annually.
The West Midlands Gigafactory industry leading ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach allows the plant to both manufacture new batteries and recycle used ones.
West Midlands Gigafactory is a public-private joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd. It has support from a unique alliance of West Midlands industrial groups, local government and academic institutions.
Following the positive resolutions at both planning committees, outline planning permission will be formally issued once the associated legal agreement has been signed and government has been consulted. This is expected in March 2022.
From October 2021
A public/private joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd, has now unveiled further plans to develop the UK’s largest battery Gigafactory as it explores investment opportunities with battery manufacturers from around the globe.
The plan is for the Gigafactory to begin supplying high-tech batteries for electric vehicles from 2025. It would be the result of a £2.5bn investment, creating up to 6,000 new highly skilled jobs directly and thousands more in the wider supply chain in Coventry and the surrounding region.
This strategically crucial investment is an imperative for the UK’s electrified future, especially for the automotive industry which will stop producing petrol and diesel engines from 2030.
However the council has not yet approved the plans for the site and in addition it faces competition from other UK gigafactories. In October the Chinese owner of Envision’s Sunderland plant revealed plans for a big expansion that will put the plant among the biggest electric vehicle facilities in Europe. It currently produces batteries for the Nissan Leaf and other electric vehicles.
Car Magazine reports that Britishvolt, a UK start-up founded by United Arab Emirates businessman Orral Nadjari, is striving to invest £2.6billion in a Gigafactory north of Nissan Sunderland at Blyth. Its building plans have already been approved..
West Midlands Gigafactory website: https://www.ukgigafactory.com/
More about the Envision plan on the Guardian.