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Jaguar Land Rover owner seeks gigafactory subsidy

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According to reports from the Financial Times, Tata Motors, which owns Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), has requested a £500 million package of subsidies in order to build a new UK-based battery factory.

With batteries for electric vehicles being expensive to ship over long distances, a good supply of domestically-produced batteries is thought to be essential to the future of the UK automotive sector. However, Toyota and Stellantis have already announced that its British factories will be sourcing batteries from abroad. For its battery facility, Tata is currently considering one location in Somerset, with Spain being targeted for another site. The Spanish government is promoting the country’s potential for affordable solar power, and offering substantial grants for companies looking to build gigafactories.

In addition to grants, Tata is reportedly requesting the subsidy in the form of support for energy and research costs. While the requested subsidy would be unusually large for a single project, the UK Government may find it necessary to support the UK automotive sector. The Guardian reports a source familiar with JLR’s strategy as saying:

“We may be already past added-on time in extra time. If JLR, as the UK’s biggest motor manufacturer, can’t make a business case to build electric batteries in this country, who else is going to build batteries in this country?”

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