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West Midlands car battery ‘gigafactory’ could start production in 2025

Artist's impression: the proposed West Midlands Gigafactory Project

New details have been published of the plan to create a £2.5 billion automotive battery production facility near Coventry.

The ‘gigafactory’ could be production-ready in 2025 – instantly becoming the UK’s largest single industrial facility – according to new details released today (October 21).

Despite being the subject of an outline planning proposal only at this stage, the project was hailed as a “game changer” for the West Midlands by the region’s mayor, Andy Street.

Located at Coventry Airport, the planned facility would cover the same area as 74 full-size football pitches and could create up to 6,000 jobs, a statement claimed, with “thousands more in the local supply chain”.

Powered by new 100% renewable energy supplied from a combination of solar power and grid-supplied renewables, the new manufacturing facility would be capable of producing up to 60GWh – enough to power 600,000 electric vehicles per year.

The project is backed by a public private sector joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd, supported by a unique alliance of local governments, industrial groups, and universities.

Project director, Mike Murray, 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.”

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change said: “Coventry is the historical home of the automotive industry in the UK, where much of the cutting-edge technology that defined the global car industry last century was created here in our city.

“Now, as we stand at the dawn of a new electric age, we fully intend for Coventry to be very front of the green industrial revolution which will power the future of the automotive industry.”

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