India’s Tata selects UK for £4bn EV battery gigafactory

India’s Tata selects UK for £4bn EV battery gigafactory
Natarajan Chandrasekaran and Rushi Sunak. Image courtesy Tata Group.

As the UK fears being outpaced in the EV race, Tata Group announces a 40GW battery cell gigafactory in Somerset.

The Indian conglomerate announced the battery cell gigafactory in the UK, valued at over £4 billion ($5.2 billion), which will deliver electric mobility and renewable energy storage solutions for customers in UK and Europe.

The battery gigafactory will produce battery cells and packs for a variety of applications within the mobility and energy sectors. Tata Group will coordinate the venture through its fully-owned arm, Agratas Energy Storage Solutions.

The investment is being hailed as establishing a much-needed competitive green tech ecosystem in the UK at scale.

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Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, commented on the multi-billion pound investment, which 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.”

UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, added: “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.”

Battery factory a saving grace for UK in the EV race

The EV battery factory announcement comes in as the UK has been experiencing a slow start to their EV industry.

Earlier this year in March, the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) issued a call to government to respond urgently to international movements in the EV sector.

The US’s inflation reduction act, for example, has been attracting immense investment from global players as a lucrative market for electric mobility.

According to the SMMT, the UK has significant potential from the progress already made by the domestic automotive sector and supply chain, although more has been needed to capitalise.

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Commenting on Tata’s news, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, emphasized how the gigafactory marks “a shot in the arm for the UK automotive industry, our economy and British manufacturing jobs, demonstrating the country is open for business and electric vehicle production.

“It comes at a critical moment, with the global industry transitioning at pace to electrification, producing batteries in the UK is essential if we are to anchor wider vehicle production here for the long term. We must now build on this announcement by promoting the UK’s strengths overseas, ensuring we stay competitive amid fierce global pressures and do more to scale up our EV supply chain.”

The gigafactory hopes to utilise 100% clean power for its manufacturing processes alongside battery recycling technologies to recover and reuse original raw materials.

JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) and Tata Motors will be anchor customers, with supplies commencing from 2026.