January 20, 2022: Outline planning permission has been given for a UK battery gigafactory, which if it goes ahead will be the biggest in the country.
The plant will be built in the West Midlands, in the centre of England, where major car manufacturers have always been traditionally based.
The factory, a public-private joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd, is targeting an annual production of 60GWh and is going to cost around £2.5 billion ($3.4 billion) to build.
“Production-ready from 2025, the 530,000 m2 facility will manufacture high-tech lithium-ion batteries for the global automotive and energy storage industries,” said West Midlands Gigafactory, the name of the venture.
“As the world moves rapidly towards an increasingly electrified future, gigafactories have been identified as critical to the UK’s automotive and domestic energy sectors, future economic growth and achieving net zero targets.”
Councillor Andrew Day, the leader of the local district council said: “In the past 100 years, there has probably not been a more important decision for the British automotive industry.
“A new industrial revolution is under way and once again the West Midlands is playing a key part.”
In September work began on building Britishvolt’s battery gigafactory in the north of England.
It is the first plant of its kind in the country, and should have a production capacity of 30GWh.
Talks continue with the UK government for another five gigafactories in the country.
Japanese carmaker Nissan has agreed to build a third one in Sunderland to make batteries for its Nissan electric vehicles.