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JLR leaning toward building UK battery plant

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The BBC reports that the owner of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Tata, is leaning towards building a new battery plant in the UK at Somerset’s Gravity business park.

Tata has been considering a site in Spain in addition to the Somerset site, but after advanced negotiations with the UK Government over subsidies and other financial support, it appears to be settling on the UK site. If it goes ahead, the plant will create 9,000 jobs at the Gravity business park, which is situated close to the M5 with convenient access to Bristol Port.

Dan Norris, the metro mayor for the West of England, said he was eager to welcome Tata to the region. He commented about the new site:

“We need an effective UK industrial strategy to ensure we benefit from the huge opportunities of net-zero. We have a site that’s shovel-ready so let’s now seal that deal.”

While many aspects of electric vehicles (EVs) have matured in recent years—such as specialised grease, coolant, and lubricant products from brands like Castrol and Total—there are concerns about how UK automobile manufacturers will source the batteries needed for EV production, which is ramping up ahead of a ban on new sales of petrol and diesel cars in 2030.

Stellantis recently said it would not be able to meet the rules of origin requirements for tariff-free exports to the EU if it could not source batteries in the UK or EU, because batteries account for a substantial portion of the cost of an EV.

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