UK Wants Its Own Electric Car Battery Hub To Spur Local Production

7 hours ago by Mark Kane 4

2013 Nissan LEAF in front of Sunderland plant

The idea of a national electric car battery hub, called the “National Battery Prototyping Centre”, has arisen in Britain – as is to now be set up for automotive research, development and testing.

Jaguar I-PACE Concept

The facility would be shared between various OEMs and companies, with the intention to make easier the establishment of local production.

The suggested location for the project is in Coventry, which is the historic heart of the British car industry.

It’s not strange then, that one of the most interested parties in the project at this early stage is Jaguar Land Rover, which perhaps not coincidentally already operates in Coventry, and is currently the largest automaker in the UK.

Jaguar hopes to soon introduce its first electric car – the 220+ miler I-Pace (details) to the market in about ~9 months, but as of today, the company has choose to produce them in Austria – which is close to large EV component suppliers (think Magna Steyr).

The authors of the proposition believe that spending taxpayers money on the project will leverage the EV/battery industry, and thus create more jobs.

“Officials in the West Midlands hope their central location will make it a practical choice for a national center and they say their plan could ultimately create 10,000 jobs. They gave no estimate of how much a new center would cost.

Japan’s Nissan already builds its electric Leaf at its north of England plant and Germany’s BMW is due to decide by the end of the year whether to build a new electric Mini model at its plant in Oxford, although potential tariffs on vehicle exports after Brexit will be an important consideration.

Carmakers are racing to build greener vehicles and improve charge times in a bid to meet rising customer demand and meet air quality targets but Britain lacks sufficient manufacturing capacity, an area ministers have said they want to build up.”

Also of note, the London Taxi Company (owned by Chinese car making giant Geely) recently also opened shop in Coventry with a $374 million plant.

source: Reuters

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5 responses to "UK Wants Its Own Electric Car Battery Hub To Spur Local Production"

  1. Blackseries says:

    It does seem odd that InsideEvs is the only site not to report that the Jaguar has started producing the production I-Pace in Graz. Its not that there are many 90kWh cars actually being made at the moment. Just seems odd for an EV website.

    1. Mikael says:

      That is odd. I guess Jaguar doesn’t have a hotline to the most important EV site yet for some reason.

      I was very surprised by the news. It makes you wonder how far away from production the E-pace is too.

      India is serious… but then again they just won two formel E races on the track too (one turned into a second place because of a time penalty) thanks to Mahindra (and Felix Rosenqvist).

      1. Blackseries says:

        E-Pace Launch date 13th July 2017

        Maybe the Jaguar isn’t mentioned because it doesn’t begin with a “T”

  2. Gazz says:

    It makes sense to have a battery plant in the British Isles and in every large/ medium country. The demand will be there and it’s not ecological to ship batteries everywhere.

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