Plans drafted for another UK battery gigafactory

[LONDON] Regional officials in central England said Thursday that plans were being submitted for a battery gigafactory near Coventry that could create up to 6,000 jobs.

The city's council is submitting blueprints for a 1.7 million sqm electric car battery plant in partnership with Coventry Airport, where it would be built.

Promoters say the site could be operational by 2025 and could attract £2 billion (S$3.66 billion) in investment.

The Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has already launched plans for a battery gigafactory in northeastern England.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street called it "mission critical that the West Midlands secures a gigafactory" to safeguard its key industry, economy and the "future of our planet".

Investment in electric cars and associated supply chains is pitched as a way to reinvigorate the automotive industry in central England along with a shift to more environmentally friendly technologies.

The UK's Unite union welcomed the plans and potential jobs as a "huge shot in the arm" for the West Midlands economy.

"The promise of 6,000 jobs and thousands more in the supply chain is exactly what we need to bring stability to the sector during these rocky times," Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said.

Construction of Nissan's £2.6-billion plant in Blyth was announced in December and construction is to start soon, with the potential creation of 6,200 jobs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government announced last year plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.



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