Tata Group confirms EV battery factory in the UK

    This announcement is seen as a much-needed boost to the ailing British car industry.

    Published On Jul 19, 2023 01:49:00 PM

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    Tata Group, the owner of Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover, has announced that it will build a battery factory for electric vehicles in the United Kingdom. The group currently manufactures the Jaguar and Land Rover luxury cars and SUVs in the UK.

    1. New UK EV battery plant built for the wider market
    2. Likely to be based at Somerset and create 9,000 jobs
    3. Announcement hailed by the British government

    Tata Group UK EV battery plant: over £4 billion investment

    Tata Group will establish local battery production, with an investment of over £4 billion (over Rs 42,000 crore), and supply to JLR and Tata Motors initially. The all-new EV battery plant will have a capacity of 40GW, which is higher than the 38GW battery factory that the Shanghai-based Envision Group plans to open next to Nissan's plant in Sunderland, UK. The Faraday Institute forecasts that the UK needs a total of 100GWh of local capacity by 2030 to satisfy demand for EV production, rising to 200GWh by 2040.

    There were reports on July 18 that Tata had identified a site in Somerset to build a battery factory – with the potential to create 9,000 jobs – and an official announcement was expected soon. Confirming the battery plant announcement, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran said: “Today, I am delighted to announce that Tata Group will be setting up one of Europe's largest battery cell manufacturing facilities in the UK.”

    The firm has yet to officially confirm whether the factory will be set up at Bridgewater in Somerset – a location historically linked with battery factory plants from various automotive manufacturers, including Tesla, Rivian and JLR itself.

    The Tata Group says it will produce sustainable battery cells and packs for a variety of applications within the mobility and energy sectors, following a "rapid" ramp-up phase that will see the plant being built and begin operations within three years. It also plans to “maximise its renewable energy mix” at the battery factory, ultimately targeting 100 percent "clean" power. A core component of its sustainability ambitions will be the recycling of batteries in-house, aiming to create a “truly circular economy ecosystem” by recovering raw materials for reuse in new batteries.

    British Prime Minister hails Tata Group's announcement

    British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has hailed Tata's selection of the UK for its first battery factory outside India as "a huge vote of confidence in Britain." “It will not only create thousands of skilled jobs for Britons around the country, but it will also strengthen our lead in the global transition to electric vehicles, helping to grow our economy in clean industries of the future," he added.

    Tata's UK EV battery plant will be for the wider market

    Tata Motors chief financial officer PB Balaji had confirmed plans for a European battery plant at Auto Expo 2023 in Delhi in January. The plant will not only supply to JLR and Tata Motors but will also sell batteries to the wider market. It will produce cells using two chemistries – lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) – with the latter earmarked for JLR, Balaji confirmed. “We are well covered on the production plans for batteries, but we will require some cell capacity coming into Europe," he said.

    Tata's UK EV battery plant a step in right direction

    The move will be a significant step towards ensuring that JLR complies with European ‘rule of origin’ regulations for electric vehicles, which become stricter from 2024 due to Brexit agreements. The new rules will require that 45 percent of the value of an EV produced should come from the EU or the UK to qualify for the trade without tariffs, with it increasing to 65 percent in 2027.

    Also See:

    Audi India SUV sales grow over 200 percent in the first half of 2023

    BMW India leads luxury EV market with 50 percent share

    Tata Cars

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