The Tata Group has announced plans to build a new multibillion-pound electric car battery factory in Somerset, UK, in what is being labelled as one of the largest ever investments in the UK automotive sector.
The 40GWh gigafactory, one of the largest in Europe and Tata Group‘s first outside of India, will manufacture batteries for Jaguar Land Rover, as well as other manufacturers in the UK and Europe from 2026. It will reportedly create up to 4,000 highly skilled jobs and also provide almost half of the battery production that the Faraday Institution estimates the UK will need by 2030 – the year from which new petrol or diesel cars will no longer be available to buy.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“Tata Group’s multi-billion-pound investment in a new battery factory in the UK is testament to the strength of our car manufacturing industry and its skilled workers.
“With the global transition to zero emission vehicles well underway, this will help grow our economy by driving forward our lead in battery technology whilst creating as many as 4,000 jobs, and thousands more in the supply chain.
“We can be incredibly proud that Britain has been chosen as home to Tata Group’s first gigafactory outside India, securing our place as one of the most attractive places to build electric vehicles.”
Mr N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, said:
“The Tata Group is deeply committed to a sustainable future across our business.
“Today, I am delighted to announce the Tata Group will be setting up one of Europe’s largest battery cell manufacturing facilities in the UK. 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, JLR.
“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.
“I also want to thank His Majesty’s Government, which has worked so closely with us to enable this investment.”
The announcement provides a welcome boost to both the transport and the clean energy sector, following the administration of Britishvolt earlier this year and the natural shelving of the company’s plans to build a battery factory in Blyth, North East England.
The new electric car battery factory from Tata will join the UK’s one other operational plant, located alongside Nissan’s car factory in Sunderland. By comparison, the EU has 35 plants open, with a further 15 planned by 2030.
The UK government has been criticised by many, including the Climate Change Committee, for not being fast enough in actions to achieve its own energy and environmental targets – the hope is that today’s announcement triggers many new investments in both battery manufacturing facilities and low-carbon energy solutions generally.