At last! JLR commits to £15bn EV investment

1 min read

In a major boost for the UK’s automotive industry Jaguar Land Rover has announced that it plans to invest £15bn over the next five years as it looks to upgrade its factories to produce electric vehicles, including its first UK-made battery car.

Employing over 36,000 people, JLR said that the investment would be spread over its “industrial footprint, vehicle programmes, autonomous, AI and digital technologies and people skills.”

The investment will see the company shift production to electric cars at its plant at Halewood on Merseyside, while its factory making internal combustion engines in Wolverhampton, will focus on producing electric motors and associated parts.

The announcement has been welcomed by the UK car industry and comes after a long wait to find out how the company would meet its commitments to make Jaguar an all-electric brand by 2025, and to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2039.

JLR has been accused of being too slow and falling behind many of its competitors in the race to embrace EVs. To date its only fully electric car was the award-winning Jaguar I-Pace, which was built by a contract manufacturer in Austria.

According to JLR its first UK-made electric car will be a £100,000 Jaguar four-door “grand tourer” which will be built in Solihull in the West Midlands – with first deliveries scheduled for 2025.

The size of the investment is certainly impressive and suggests that the company is finally accelerating its efforts in terms of electrification across all of its brands.

But while JLR has signed supply agreements for the batteries for its first wave of homegrown electric models, it is waiting for a decision from its parent company, Tata, on where it will build its own battery cell factory.

So too is the wider UK automotive industry as that decision, which is imminent, will have massive implications for car manufacturing in the UK, especially after the collapse this year of the start-up Britishvolt, which had intended to build a so-called battery gigafactory.