Coventry City Council has joined forces with the local airport to develop plans for a battery gigafactory which could create up to 4,000 new jobs.
The joint venture partners will submit a planning application for the project, which they said could bring in £2bn in investment, later this year.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said that Coventry was “the natural place” to develop a new gigafactory.
Many of the UK’s largest car manufacturing firms operate in the area, including Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin Lagonda, and BMW.
And with carmakers increasingly focused on electrifying their car fleets in line with the UK’s climate change pledges, a ready supply of batteries is a vital cog in the future of the auto industry in this country.
The need to secure a battery supply chain has become even more important due to the UK’s departure from the EU.
Under the terms of the UK’s new trade deal with the bloc, from 2026 electric cars will not qualify for tariff-free trade if their batteries were imported from outside the UK/EU.
If confirmed, the Coventry gigafactory would be the second such development given the go-ahead in recent months.
In December start-up Britishvolt announced that it would build a £2.6bn plant in Blyth in north-east, with battery production expected to begin in 2023.
Coventry council confirmed that it would be bidding for £500m worth of government investment to make the project a reality.
It said that, subject to successful discussions with automakers, a plant could be operational by 2025.
Street said: “I have been utterly obsessed with securing a gigafactory for the West Midlands due to the huge economic and job benefits it would bring, and so I am delighted we have announced our preferred site and taken a huge leap forward today.
“The point I have been ferociously lobbying to Government is that the West Midlands is the natural place for a UK gigafactory as we are already home to the country’s biggest car manufacturer, Europe’s largest research centre, the UK’s only battery industrialisation centre, and a world-leading supply chain.
“By announcing the site now and driving forward with a planning application and a joint venture, we are showing how united and serious the region is about making this happen.”