UK’s Largest Gigafactory Planned for Automotive Hub

Plans to build the UK’s largest automotive battery Gigafactory have been unveiled for the nation’s West Midlands area.

A public-private joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport, has published plans for the West Midlands Gigafactory located near the UK’s traditional automotive industry hub. It hopes to begin supplying batteries for EV from 2025 and will be the result of a £2.5Bn ($3.45Bn) investment, creating up to 6,000 new highly skilled jobs.

The new plant, measuring more than 500,000 square meters of space, should be capable of delivering up to 60GWh of production per year. It will be powered by a planned major boost to the local energy network, giving the plant access to a 100% renewable electricity supply from a combination of solar power and grid-supplied renewables. The West Midlands Gigafactory will be able to recycle used batteries as well as build new ones in an industry leading approach known as “cradle to cradle”.

Based at Coventry Airport, the Gigafactory will be adjacent to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, part of the UK government’s Faraday Battery Challenge. The center provides a link between research at laboratory or prototype stages and the mass production of new battery technologies.

Mike Murray, West Midlands Gigafactory project director, said: “The West Midlands Gigafactory has a singular mission to create a state-of-the-art battery gigafactory in the heart of the UK automotive industry. It will provide a huge cash investment in the area, leading to thousands of well-paid jobs and creating crucial new skills for this country.

“The Coventry Airport site is perfectly located to do just that, being ideally positioned to supply the UK’s leading automotive manufacturers who need access to world-class batteries on their doorsteps. We need to make these advanced lithium-ion batteries where we make cars and there is no better place than in the West Midlands.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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