Nissan is to announce a large scale expansion of battery production in Sunderland, Coventry Airport is being proposed as the site for a new gigafactory, and the government is in talks with Vauxhall to produce electric vehicles at its Ellesmere Port plant.
The Coventry City Council is to enter a joint venture with Coventry Airport Ltd to develop its proposals in order to attract the likes of BMW, Aston Martin Lagonda, LEVC and Jaguar Land Rover, who all have manufacturing facilities in the region.
George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council, said of the proposals: “The city is home to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, world-leading research institutions, and the UK’s largest car maker Jaguar Land Rover and it’s clear to me that Coventry is the right location.”
West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, said: “By announcing the site now and driving forward with a planning application and a joint venture, we are showing how united and serious the region is about making this happen.”
In Sunderland, Nissan may also announce the launch of a brand new electric model and it is hoped the gigafactory will be producing batteries in time for 2024 when the level of UK-made components in UK-made cars is required to start increasing in line with the terms of the UK’s trade deal with the EU.
As such, the UK government is contributing an undisclosed sum towards the overall cost of the Sunderland project, which is expected to cost hundreds of millions of pounds, in order to support the transition towards the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.
The announcement by Nissan could mean the creation of thousands of new jobs both directly and in the supply chain.
Nissan is expected to produce around 200,000 batteries in the UK for EVs every year, in partnership with Chinese specialist Envision AESC.