UK mayor silent on EVE Energy gigafactory investment reports

UK mayor silent on EVE Energy gigafactory investment reports

UK mayor silent on EVE Energy gigafactory investment reports 1024 572 Energy Storage Journal

March 27, 2024: UK officials have declined to comment on reports that Chinese EV battery manufacturer EVE Energy is in talks to invest around £1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) in a proposed gigafactory on the outskirts of Coventry.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, whose English Midlands region is at the center of intense media speculation about the deal, said on March 25 the area is the UK’s automotive heartland “and the logical home for the country’s next gigafactory”.

Street said he would not provide a running commentary on ongoing commercial negotiations, but added that the Coventry airport site, in the West Midlands Investment Zone, did have planning permission for a gigafactory.

“It is also an established fact that we are in discussions with a number of global battery manufacturers about the future occupancy of the site and the nature and progress of these conversations has to remain confidential.”

“We are all working incredibly hard to make that happen, as part of the wider plans to create a UK Centre for Electrification and Clean Energy.”

EVE’s interest in the project could create up to 6,000 jobs in partnership with local councils and Coventry airport.

Energy Storage Journal reported in 2022 that outline planning permission had been given for the project led by a public-private joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd.

The factory would have an annual production target of 60GWh and was estimated to cost around £2.5 billion to build.

Last July Agratas, the Tata Group’s international battery business, confirmed it would invest more than £4 billion to build an initial 40GWh battery cell factory in the English county of Somerset.

Tata chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said then the gigafactory would start producing cells in 2026 following a “rapid ramp-up phase” — supplying batteries for EVs and battery storage systems in the UK and mainland Europe.