Thursday 15 July 2021 11:52 am

Plans for Coventry electric 'gigafactory' put forward

Coventry City Council together with Coventry Airport Ltd. have submitted blueprints for a 5.7 square feet ‘gigafactory’ that could transform the UK’s electric car industry.

The “mission critical” plant would make the batteries vital for the future of car manufacturing.

The project’s proposals were put forward in February and will be decided if the project goes ahead by Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council later this year.

If plans for the ‘gigafactory’ are approved the project could create up to 6,000 jobs with production possibly starting in 2025 and could attract £2bn of investment.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said, “It is mission critical that the West Midlands secures a gigafactory, both for the future of our region’s automotive industry and the huge economic and job benefits it would bring, swell as the future of our planet.”

He stated the region features the UK’s only battery industrialisation centre, the country’s largest car manufacturer and more, suggesting a gigafactory is the next step and will not stop until the West Midlands have one.

The plans confirm that the gigafactory will be 100 per cent powered by green energy, such as solar and wind power and renewable energy. The plant aims to recycle old batteries whilst building new ones.

The West Midlands is being called one of the most competitive sites for a gigafactory in the UK due to its experience within the motor industry.

“We are the ideal location for a gigafactory as the home of the UK automotive sector, alongside world-leading research in battery technology,” said Councillor George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council.

Sarah Windrum, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “There has been great partnership working between all the parties involved and this would have a fundamental role to play in promoting Coventry and Warwickshire’s profile as a centre of excellence in this increasingly important industry while providing a huge boost to UK industry.”

The West Midlands plan to bid for government support of £500m funding, following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement in Parliament arguing for the regions “lead in building new electric vehicles for this country and for the world”.