West Midlands Gigafactory, a public private joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd, has unveiled further plans to develop the UK’s largest battery gigafactory, as it continues to explore investment opportunities with battery manufacturers.
The gigafactory could begin supplying batteries for EVs from 2025, creating up to 6,000 new highly skilled jobs directly. It will be the result of a £2.5bn investment, that could also see thousands more roles created in the wider supply chain in Coventry and the surrounding region.
Covering over half a million square metres of space – equivalent to 74 full-size football pitches – it will be one of the largest single industry facilities of any kind in the UK. It is expected when at full capacity, the gigafactory will be capable of delivering up to 60GWh of production per year.
Combinating solar power and grid-supplied renewables, the facility will be powered by 100% renewable electricity. It will be able to recycle used batteries as well as build new ones in an approach known as “cradle to cradle.”
Mike Murray, West Midlands Gigafactory, project director, said: “The West Midlands Gigafactory has a singular mission to create a state-of-the-art battery gigafactory in the heart of the UK automotive industry. It will provide a huge cash investment in the area, leading to thousands of well-paid jobs and creating crucial new skills for this country.”
“The Coventry Airport site is perfectly located to do just that, being ideally positioned to supply the UK’s leading automotive manufacturers who need access to world-class batteries on their doorsteps. We need to make these advanced lithium-ion batteries where we make cars and there is no better place than in the West Midlands.”
West Midlands Gigafactory has support from an alliance of West Midlands industrial groups, local government and academic institutions. This alliance includes the West Midlands Combined Authority, Warwick District Council, Warwickshire County Council, Rugby Council, Warwick Manufacturing Group at University of Warwick, Coventry University and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.
Margot James, executive chair at WMG, University of Warwick, added: “The West Midlands is already home to 28% of the UK’s automotive sector talent, with an established skills ecosystem and supply chain.
“The proposed gigafactory will bring a wealth of opportunities and high skilled jobs to the region. WMG is a centre of excellence for battery technology research and development alongside UKBIC, making the region a natural home for the proposed gigafactory.”