Jaguar-Land Rover Considers Opening Battery Factory With Ford & BMW

7 months ago by Eric Loveday 16

BMW HQ

BMW HQ

Jaguar Logo

Jaguar Logo

Largely flying under the radar is a report that Jaguar Land-Rover is in talks with both BMW and Ford for a future battery factory for plug-in electric cars.

According to Autocar, the three automakers are in early discussions right now over forming an alliance for a battery factory to challenge Tesla’s Gigafactory.

Autocar reports:

“Although in its early stages, it’s believed that Jaguar is keen to get the project started and build its first all-electric car…”

“JLR currently doesn’t have an electric vehicle in either its Jaguar or Land Rover ranges, so it doesn’t build its own EV batteries. Ford’s batteries for the Focus Electric are produced in collaboration with a subsidiary of LG, while BMW sources its batteries from Samsung. A joint battery factory between the brands would benefit all three manufacturers.”

Ford Logo

Ford Logo

Makes sense to us, especially since all three of the automakers have announced plans for a more robust lineup of plug-in cars in the future, as well as stating that longer range BEVs are coming soon.

Autocar reached out to all three automakers for comment on the battery factory tie-up. Each automaker offered a similar, typical responses:

“When contacted for comment, spokesmen from both Jaguar Land Rover and Ford were unable to give any more information on the plans, which they described as “speculation”. A BMW spokesman was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.”

Source: Autocar

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16 responses to "Jaguar-Land Rover Considers Opening Battery Factory With Ford & BMW"

  1. Four Electrics says:

    Compare and contrast with recent reports that Nissan would like to exit the battery business. What does one set know that the other does not?

    1. Rob Stark says:

      Perhaps Nissan does not want to exit the battery business just exit its joint venture with NEC?

      I can’t see a battery factory supplying Renault,Nissan and Mitsubishi not making sense.

    2. windbourne says:

      Nissan’s chemistry, along with their plants, are bad ju-ju.
      Basically, there is a reason why Nissan and BYD are having their batteries go out early, and why they will NOT be able to get their costs down. They have the same problem as BYD. Basically, the other chemistries require different equipment, which nissan and BYD do not own.

      1. William says:

        My 2013 Leaf has 3 1/2 years of daily use (250-DC fast charges / 1000- level 1&2 regular charges). 40 k total miles of operation, and I still have yet to experience more than 4% of battery capacity degradation annually over the duration of 42 months. The battery is not going be useful (expected range depletion) for more than 8 years in total, in the 12 k annual mileage driving cycle that it is currently operating under. Replacement by then should be an interesting value proposition. Many factors for battery replacement will be at play by the time 2021 rolls around, and the trade offs, (opt in or opt out) will be interesting to say the least.

        1. Rich says:

          @William, there are a few other factors. Do you live in a hot climate? How far do you discharge the battery before recharging? Do you charge to 100%?
          For someone driving 20 to 30 miles a day, living in a moderate to cold climate, and usually only charging to 80% of capacity will lead to very long battery life.
          The devil is in the details.

          1. William says:

            My battery temp has been over 100 F less than 1 % of the time after the second DC fast charge during a given day.. You are correct that I keep my charge and discharge cycle mostly between 15 % and 85 %.(20%-80%)
            The climate around the battery in Los Angeles,Ca. is in 70’s – 90’s most of the time. The Leaf battery loves to be DC Quick Charged every so often. Battery overall condition can be agitated to actually hold a little more kWh of juice using DC QC! At least in the near term after said QC. Level one charging has not proven to be a life saver in any respect. Level 1 is kind of a “Flat Liner” for overall battery metrics.
            After 04/13, Nissan has had better battery preformance according to quite a few owners. 2015 and beyond was the “proof is in the pudding year”.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I think the issue was that Nissan didn’t think its own battery factories could compete on cost with buying LG Chem’s new, lower-cost batteries. That is, LG’s retail price was considerably below their own wholesale cost.

      But Renault made a deal to share trade secrets with LG. Following that, Nissan decided to keep making its own batteries at their Tennessee plant, altho I think they were also buying some from LG.

      Nissan is Renault’s partner. I haven’t seen any official announcement, but Nissan finally announced they would put their UK battery plant back into operation, so it looks to me like LG licensed its chemistry to Nissan.

      So long as legacy auto makers plan to make PEVs only in limited numbers, they can get by with buying batteries from LG Chem and other suppliers. When they get serious about making and selling long-range PEVs in large numbers, they’re going to need to be able to decide for themselves how many batteries they need in a year, and that means controlling their own battery manufacturing.

      Those who think makers of PEVs don’t need to control their own battery supply are pretty firmly ignoring the lessons of history, of what happened with Nissan and Tesla and their constraints on making BEVs due to limited battery supply.

      1. SJC says:

        I think the Nissan/NEC battery cells are not making advances like others, THIS may be why they are looking elsewhere.
        Nissan failed to thermally regulate their packs, IMO THAT is the problem.

  2. Yoda says:

    First I dont think Nissan ever wanted to be in the battery business but they had to be early on to sell cars in any volume. But they chose the wrong partner and proved to the world that they make the worst EV batteries in the world so they want to switch partners and who knows what their contract was with their partner so selling might be the only legal way to switch…
    This new trio might not want to make batteries either but again realises the need to go their own to acheive their desired scale and it could work out better if they are
    not permatly tied to one battery companies technology…
    Just like Panasonic did not want to commit to Teslas desired scale this trio might have trouble finding the right partneer who is willing to put up big money for a big factory…

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      If a battery factory is making batteries using inferior chemistry, then they need to switch to a better chemistry, possibly by licensing tech from another battery maker. That’s apparently what the Renault-Nissan partnership did. It’s not like shutting the factory down is the only solution, or the best one.

      And I’m not at all sure that the premature battery fade in early Leaf battery packs was even partly due to inferior chemistry. If Nissan had “babied” the batteries in the Leaf packs the way Tesla did in its battery packs, and as GM did in its Volt packs, then maybe they wouldn’t have had significant problems with premature aging.

      And that’s not the only reason EV battery packs need a TMS (Temperature Management System). Rapid charging of battery packs for extended trips may need robust battery cooling, too. I’m astonished that Nissan has resisted putting a TMS into their Leaf packs for as long as they have, but sooner or later they’ll have to. Leaf sales are already suffering because potential car buyers see the Leaf battery packs as inferior, and that’s not going to change until Nissan starts putting a TMS into their BEVs’ battery packs.

    2. SJC says:

      Nissan/NEC began more than 15 years ago when there were not that many alternatives. They produced a good battery they took to market. No thermal management was the mistake.

  3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Great to see legacy auto makers giving serious consideration to this!

    I’ve been saying for some time now that we’ll know legacy auto makers are serious about making and selling compelling PEVs in large number only if and when they start building their own battery factories, as BYD and Nissan have done, and as Tesla is doing.

    It is a very hopeful sign to see Ford, BMW and other auto makers collaborating on a plan to do just that! Here’s hoping that these talks result in an actual project to build one or more high-production battery factories.

  4. JIMIJON says:

    Everything isn’t for everyone! I think the smart people (MUSK) will start building things in house ,like they they yrs ago ., Instead of Outsourcing & letting others make a big chunk of their Profits…

    1. theflew says:

      History shows vertical integration can be costly and inflexible. There is a reason why automakers outsource so much. Designing and building cars is difficult. The individual parts aren’t that complicated.

  5. jelloslug says:

    When you have a conglomeration of competitive companies doing something together either they are just doing it so they don’t have to bother with it themselves or they are trying to squeeze out someone else. It’s seems to me that they are trying to reinvent the wheel…

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I don’t see a down side here. Sharing risks and sharing costs seems like a good reason for these auto makers to form a partnership for making batteries. The only potential problem is if they wind up fighting over a limited supply of batteries. Presuming they have a clearly written contract that says company A gets X% of the batteries coming out of the factory (or factories) and company B gets Y%, there shouldn’t be any problem.

      Tesla actively sought partnerships beyond just Panasonic for the Gigafactory, too. They didn’t attract one, but if they had, would you think that was a bad thing too?

      I wouldn’t want to see all PEV makers use the same battery supplier, because that would eliminate the competition which is driving rapid battery improvements; improvements more rapid than in just about any industry except computers. But I don’t see the problem with two major (plus two minor) auto makers partnering to build high-capacity battery factories.

      I hope to see more of the same in the near future!