Tata Group, India's largest conglomerate and the owner of JLR, has decided to base its future EV battery gigafactory in the United Kingdom.
Tata said it would invest over $5.16 billion (4 billion pounds) to build a 40-gigawatt-hour (GWh) battery cell plant in the UK – its first such factory outside of India. The investment will deliver electric mobility and renewable energy storage solutions for customers in UK and Europe, the company added.
Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will be the main customers of the new cell plant, which is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs. The plant will supply batteries for future BEV models from the Range Rover, Defender, Discovery, and Jaguar brands.
The facility will start production in 2026 and will have an initial output of 40 GWh of cells annually. The factory is expected to meet almost half of UK's battery production needs by 2030. According to a forecast from the Faraday Institution, the UK will need more than 100 GWh a year by that time.
Tata Group did not disclose the location of the plant, but Reuters reports that it is expected to be built in Somerset, south-west England, while JLR's UK factories are near Birmingham, in central England.
Tata Group said the investment is an integral part of its commitment to electric mobility and renewable energy storage solutions and "establishes a competitive green tech ecosystem in the UK at scale."
"Today, I am delighted to announce the Tata group will be setting up one of Europe's largest battery cell manufacturing facilities in the UK. Our multi-billion pound investment will bring state-of-the-art technology to the country, helping to power the automotive sector's transition to electric mobility, anchored by our own business, Jaguar Land Rover."
N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons
Spain was also competing for Tata Group's battery cell plant, but the UK reportedly offered a more attractive incentive package.
While the UK government declined to provide details about the financial support it had promised Tata, Energy minister Grant Shapps told the BBC that the support package was "large" but would not directly reach 1 billion pounds ($1.29 billion).
"Tata Group's decision to build their new gigafactory here in the UK – their first outside of India – is a huge vote of confidence in Britain. This will be one of the largest ever investments in the UK automotive sector. It will not only create thousands of skilled jobs for Britons around the country, but it will also strengthen our lead in the global transition to electric vehicles, helping to grow our economy in clean industries of the future."
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
The United Kingdom currently has one small battery plant and another in the works – both at Nissan's site in Sunderland. Tata Group's announcement marks the UK's biggest move so far in the EV battery gigafactory space. The country has lagged European rivals in this area; more than 30 EV battery gigafactories are planned or under construction across the EU.