Several UK gigafactories needed to secure future of car industry says report as Nissan's North East plant is expected to announce its plant plans

A series of factories producing electric car batteries must be built in the UK to secure the future of the country’s automotive industry, according to a new report.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:00 pm

It has been suggested the factory, likely to become the first of its kind in the UK, would produce enough batteries for 200,000 electric cars each year.

The study, commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), states the Government should announce a “binding target” of 60 gigawatt hours of battery capacity to be in place by 2030.

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The Government has been urged to invest in gigafactories to help develop the electric car industry in a new report, with Nissan expected to announce its plans for a plant later this week.

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Gigafactories would give UK manufacturers the capability to build up to one million electric cars a year and ensure tariff-free access to “critical” markets in the European Union, the plan claims.

The study, written by policy and research company Public First, also called for the installation of at least 2.3 million charging points nationwide before the end of the decade to give confidence to drivers – particularly those with no off-road parking at home – to invest in zero-emission vehicles.

The report urges the Government to launch a Build Back Better Fund to support the transformation of the industry and says there is potential for 40,000 jobs, offering the North East, as well as West Midlands, a major boost.

But the document warns the industry “risks decline” if there are not “competitive conditions”, leading to the loss of around 90,000 jobs.

Chief executive Mike Hawes, speaking at the SMMT’s annual summit, has said the next few years will be a “critical period for the sector.”

“If we are to secure vehicle manufacturing in this country, with all the benefits to society that it brings, decisions need to be made today,” he said.

A Government spokeswoman said: “We are committed to ensuring the UK continues to be one of the best locations in the world for automotive manufacturing and are dedicated to securing gigafactories to support the auto sector’s transition to electric vehicles.

“We continue to work closely with investors and vehicle manufacturers to progress plans to mass produce batteries in the UK.”

She added the UK has 23,800-plus public charging points and £1.3 billion investment for electric vehicle infrastructure.

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