Tata Picks Somerset For UK Battery Plant

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The Bridgewater factory, operated by the subsidiary Agratas, will initially produce batteries for JLR and Tata Motors; with a capacity of 40GWh, it will be the largest in Europe.

The Tata Group has confirmed that Europe’s largest EV battery factory will be located in Bridgewater, Somerset, with construction set to begin soon and battery production starting in 2026.

The £4 billion facility, supported by £500 million of UK government funding, will be situated at the 620-acre Gravity Smart Campus, a site that previously housed a Royal Ordnance factory producing bombs during World War Two. The site, linked to various car and battery manufacturers in the past, is where Tata is expected to commence construction in the upcoming months. This confirmation follows JLR’s parent company’s decision seven months ago to establish its European gigafactory in the UK.

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Tata’s first battery factory outside India will be managed by its subsidiary Agratas. With an eventual capacity of 40GWh, it will be among Europe’s largest such facilities, covering nearly half of the UK’s projected local electric vehicle production needs by 2030.

The factory, known as Agratas South West, will initially produce batteries for Tata Motors and JLR before expanding to manufacture cells for other applications, including commercial vehicles, two-wheelers, and energy storage solutions.

The facility will create 4,000 jobs and generate thousands more within the supply chain as support businesses and technology companies are expected to establish themselves nearby. Agratas CEO Tom Flack emphasized the company’s commitment to local communities and the intention to work with local schools and colleges to offer training courses in engineering.

The factory will produce cells in the rectangular prismatic format, with adaptable cell chemistry to accommodate future advancements. Tom Flack stated that the multi-billion-pound investment would bring advanced technology to Somerset, aiding Britain’s transition to electric mobility and creating thousands of jobs.

Mike Hawes, chief of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, echoed Flack’s sentiments, highlighting the positive impact on the locality, industry, and UK economy. He emphasized the importance of producing batteries in Britain for the future of UK automotive manufacturing.

Tata’s investment in the UK is a vote of confidence in the country’s readiness for the EV era despite lingering questions about its ability to build sufficient batteries for competitive EV production levels. The Faraday Institute estimates that the UK will need 100GWh of capacity by 2030, rising to 200GWh by 2040. Besides Tata’s 40GWh Somerset site, only Nissan supplier Envision has concrete plans to expand UK battery production, aiming for an output of 38GWh at its Sunderland factory.

Tata’s Bridgewater site will be Europe’s largest battery factory, with LG being the only company planning to surpass it, targeting a 70GWh expansion at its plant in Poland, which supplies packs to several major automotive brands.

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Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi is a Journalist at EFY. His passion is to explore the future of mobility, which gets him to cover latest technologies shaping the future of automobiles and EVs. But, at times he writes on broader technologies too. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aryaman-raghuvanshi-2431b7153

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