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13/04/2024
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Chinese manufacturer eyes £1bn investment in Coventry Gigafactory

A leading Chinese electric vehicle battery manufacturer is currently in discussions to invest over £1 billion in the construction of a massive new factory situated on the outskirts of Coventry, UK.

EVE Energy, boasting a global workforce of 28,000 employees, is reportedly negotiating the establishment of a 5.7 million square foot gigafactory, set to be a key component of the planned UK Centre for Electrification, located in the West Midlands.

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Sources familiar with the discussions have confirmed EVE’s interest in the project, which, in collaboration with local councils and Coventry airport, could potentially generate up to 6,000 employment opportunities.

Initial reports suggest that the Chinese firm is contemplating an initial investment of £1.2 billion for the project. Further phases are anticipated to expand the facility, potentially making it nearly double the size of Nissan’s electric battery factory in Sunderland.

In a similar vein, Tata Group, the parent company of Jaguar Land Rover, previously announced a £4 billion commitment to constructing an electric car battery gigafactory in Somerset, set to create 4,000 new jobs.

The West Midlands region is already home to various automotive manufacturing facilities, including those operated by Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin Lagonda, and BMW, as well as the UK’s largest battery research center, the UK Battery Industrialization Centre.

The potential establishment of the Coventry gigafactory has the potential to attract private funding totaling up to £2 billion. However, any investment is expected to be subject to substantial UK subsidies.

This news follows an announcement made by the West Midlands Gigafactory project in October 2023, stating that it was in advanced discussions with several prominent Asian battery manufacturers regarding future investment in the Coventry site.

A project spokesperson highlighted that the West Midlands Gigafactory, situated in Coventry, is the only available site in the UK located within an investment zone and holds planning permission for a large-scale battery manufacturing facility. They added that discussions with global battery manufacturers are ongoing but remain confidential.

In response to inquiries, a government spokesperson reiterated the commitment to maintaining the UK’s position as a premier location for automotive manufacturing during the transition to electric vehicles. However, they declined to comment on speculation or the commercial dealings of private companies.

Efforts to reach EVE Energy for comment were unsuccessful.

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