Boris Loves Batteries

Mon 19th Jul 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has underlined his ambition to turn the UK into a world leader in electric vehicle battery production, throwing his weight behind government investment in a range of gigafactories.

Johnson was speaking at Coventry’s UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, Coventry being earmarked as one of the next sites to build a gigafactory on the back of two huge facilities announced in the North East this year, and further plans for the Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port.

A gigafactory in the West Midlands could bring 6,000 jobs to the area and is strategically important with some big motor manufacturers on the Coventry doorstep. Jaguar Land Rover who plan to be all-electric by 2025 would benefit from having a gigafactory round the corner from their Castle Bromwich site.

“We need these batteries, there’s absolutely no question

“It’s great that Envision is bringing a gigafactory to Sunderland and we have high hopes of the BritishVolt plant in Blyth.

“But even those two together will only supply a fraction of the demand that the UK’s own domestic vehicle market will have.

“We’re going to need 70,000 skilled people just to make batteries across this country.

We want to work… to make sure we produce those gigafactories across the whole UK.

“There’s obviously a case for having a gigafactory here in the West Midlands.

“You’re going to want one next to a centre of automotive manufacturing, but even that won’t be enough to satisfy the demands, just for the UK domestic market.”

It’s thought the UK government may be prepared to financially back the Coventry proposal, which also has the backing of Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport, where the site would be located. It is hoped that the site could be operational by 2025, bringing £2billion worth of investment to the area.