The West Midlands Gigafactory, a public-private joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd, has today unveiled further plans for its future as it continues to explore investment opportunities with battery manufacturers worldwide.
Located in the epicentre of the UK’s automotive industry in Coventry, the Gigafactory will begin supplying high-tech batteries for electric vehicles from 2025. It will be the result of a £2.5bn investment, creating up to 6,000 new highly skilled jobs directly and thousands more in the wider supply chain in Coventry and the surrounding region, it claims.
This strategically crucial investment is seen as imperative for the UK’s electrified future, especially for the automotive industry which will stop producing petrol and diesel engines from 2030.
The new Gigafactory, which will command over half a million square metres of space – equivalent to 74 full-size football pitches, will be one of the largest single industry facilities of any kind in the UK and at full capacity will be capable of delivering up to 60GWh of production per year.
It will be powered by a planned major boost to the local energy network, giving the Gigafactory access to a 100% renewable electricity supply, from a combination of solar power and grid-supplied renewables. The West Midlands Gigafactory will be able to recycle used batteries as well as build new ones in an industry-leading approach known as “cradle to cradle.”
Says Mike Murray, West Midlands Gigafactory Project Director:
“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.”
Adds Margot James, Executive Chair at WMG, University of Warwick:
“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.”
West Midlands Gigafactory has support from a unique 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.