Electric car battery plant plan for Coventry Airport

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Artists impression of how the factory could lookImage source, Coventry City Council
Image caption,
An outline planning application for the gigafactory could be submitted later this year

Coventry Airport could be the site for a 'gigafactory' - a plant to manufacture electric car batteries.

Securing the factory could create thousands of jobs and attract up to £2bn of investment to the region, the city council said.

The site has been endorsed by West Midlands Combined Authority and, if plans are successful, could be operational by 2025.

The car manufacturer has sites at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham, Solihull and Whitley in Coventry as well as Halewood in Merseyside.

Also nearby is BMW with a large engine plant at Hams Hall, near Coleshill in north Warwickshire, producing more than 350,000 power units a year for models like the Mini.

Aston Martin Lagonda has its headquarters down the road in Gaydon, Warwickshire, while electric taxi and van-maker LEVC has a plant at Ansty Park, near Coventry.

What is a gigafactory?

  • Gigafactories are built to create electric car batteries.
  • They have already been developed in other parts of the world, including by Tesla in the USA, but the UK does not currently have one.
  • A 3,000 job factory is planned for Northumberland.

The city council said it is to enter a joint venture partnership with Coventry Airport Ltd to develop the proposals, and it is set to submit an outline planning application later this year.

The government previously announced £500m funding as part of a ten point plan to support the electrification of vehicles, including developing gigafactories across the UK.

Image caption,
The airport site could accommodate up to 4.5m sq ft of commercial space, Coventry City Council said

George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council, said: "Coventry has emerged as a world leader in battery technology.

"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 added: "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."

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