Coventry and Warwickshire has welcomed further investment in battery technology and electric vehicles, as part of the Government’s 10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
The Plan, which sets out a range of investments in energy and green technology, identifies electric vehicles as a core plank of the Government’s strategy.
Alongside investment in charging infrastructure, and new grants for low-emission vehicles, the Government will spend nearly £500 million on the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries. The West Midlands has been identified as a key area for this investment.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs & Regeneration at Coventry City Council, said: “Coventry is at the heart of the green industrial revolution and I have no doubt that we have the pedigree, skills, location and partnerships to take advantage of further investment in the sector. This must also include a Gigafactory to secure the production and manufacture of batteries at scale in our region.
“The private sector is already playing its part. Jaguar Land Rover is investing heavily in electric vehicles, whilst Geely has already invested £320m in Coventry & Warwickshire to create the UK’s first purpose-built factory for electric vehicles.
“That investment is happening in Coventry & Warwickshire, so we need to maximise the opportunity and take advantage of our proximity to these global leaders in automotive technology. As a result, we are ready to support the sector and work with Government to both protect the future of the automotive sector and position the UK at the heart of the electric vehicle revolution.”
Coventry, and surrounding Warwickshire, has already emerged as a leader in battery technology. In 2017, a team led by Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), Coventry City Council, and Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) won, as part of the Government’s Faraday Challenge, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) which is soon to be fully operational and is based just outside the city.
The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) is also located at the University of Warwick, alongside the National Automotive Innovation Centre – part of WMG – with Lotus, Aston Martin Lagonda, LEVC, Tata Motors, PSA Peugeot Citroen Vauxhall, and BMW all represented within the area.
Nick Abell, Chair of the CWLEP, added: “Coventry and Warwickshire has emerged in recent years as a leader in the research, industrialisation and development of EV batteries. The long-standing partnerships we have cultivated between industry, the public sector, our two universities, and other industry bodies means that future investment will plug directly into a mature automotive, transport technology and skills eco-system.
“Coventry and Warwickshire offers unrivalled access to the UK’s biggest automotive manufacturers and their supply chains, ensuring future investment in electric vehicles will generate immediate value for both the UK automotive sector and UK PLC.”
Coventry is home to Jaguar Land Rover’s global headquarters while the company has a production plant at Gaydon in Warwickshire. Other car makers, including LEVC, Geely, and Lotus have also announced major investments in Coventry and Warwickshire as part of their electrification strategies.