India’s Tata Group Partners with UK Government to Invest Over $5B in Battery-Making Factory

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by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
India’s Tata Group Partners with UK Government to Invest Over $5B in Battery-Making Factory
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The UK Tata factory should begin production by 2026, and supply nearly half of the country’s 2030 EV battery demand estimate.

Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Group will build a UK factory to produce electric car batteries. The company will reportedly invest over £4 billion ($5.17 billion) into the gigafactory, facilitating the UK’s plan for the internal manufacturing and supply of electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

According to an official government statement, the factory will directly create up to 4,000 new jobs and a few thousand more as part of the project’s wider supply chain. At 40GWh (gigawatt hours), the new gigafactory will be one of the largest in Europe and will secure batteries for auto manufacturers in the UK and the entire continent. The UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak claimed:

“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. 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.”

The Tata factory will begin production in 2026 and is set to supply nearly 50% of the battery production the Faraday Institution predicts that the UK will need by 2030. Reportedly, the UK government is giving Tata Group more than a few concessions to make the project possible. However, neither Prime Minister Sunak nor the government has provided any specifics.

Tata’s upcoming factory supports the UK’s net zero emissions plan, as the country plans to stop all new gasoline and diesel car sales by 2030. The UK also intends for these vehicles to have zero-tailpipe emissions from 2035.

Tata Factory in Competition with Tesla, Others

Tata is now going against EV maker Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), whose Berlin gigafactory officially opened last year and announced it would begin vehicle deliveries. Tesla initially announced plans for a gigafactory in November 2020 and started construction in May 2020.

Regardless of the competition, the UK is working hard at its 2030 goal. According to Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps, the new factory supports the move from fuel-driven cars.

“With thousands of jobs on site and in the supply chain, this new factory will be the cornerstone of our automotive industry, backing manufacturers to develop and expand, and customers to make the switch from petrol and diesel,” said he.

The Tata factory is also in competition with a new battery-making gigafactory in France. The factory is developed by Automotive Cells Company (ACC), a joint effort between Mercedes, Stellantis, and TotalEnergies. The Automotive Cells Company’s factory involves 2 billion euros ($2.20 billion) in total investment, with nearly half provided by local and state authorities in France.

The factory should begin producing lithium-ion sometime this year, with an initial capacity of 13 GWh. The plan is to later increase the factory’s capacity to 40 GWh, to accommodate up to 500,000 cars a year. Furthermore, the ACC factory would create up to 2,000 jobs by 2030.

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