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Coventry ‘gigafactory’ proposed

Following the announcement by Nissan earlier this month of its plans to open a ‘gigafactory’ as part of a new electric vehicle hub at its manufacturing facility in Sunderland, ‘mission critical’ plans have now been submitted for an electric car battery plant at Coventry Airport that could create up to 6,000 new jobs.

The proposal, which has been put forward by Coventry City Council alongside Coventry Airport, has been described as a ‘shot in the arm’ for the local as well as wider economy by business leaders.

The 5.7 million sq ft facility could attract £2bn of investment and if the plans are approved, the site is likely to be operational by 2025 and will be able to recycle used batteries as well as build new ones.

For the UK car industry this new facility would be ideally placed as Coventry is already home to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, a research centre for the next-generation battery technologies, while Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is based next door to the site and has already said that it will be an all-electric brand by 2025.

At a time when the UK’s competitors are moving faster and spending significant sums on developing their own gigafactories, the UK will need to up its game if it is going to deliver the infrastructure critical in supporting the ‘green revolution’, so the UK government needs to back this exciting proposal.

Neil Tyler

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