Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has called for “giga-scale battery production” to be launched in the UK, as the company revealed plans to manufacture a range of new electric vehicles in England.
JLR said the plans for its Castle Bromwich plant near Birmingham marked “the next significant step in delivering on the company’s commitment to offer customers electrified options for all new Jaguar and Land Rover models from 2020”.
Now the car firm is calling for a joint effort between industry and the UK government to prepare for giga-scale battery production to put the UK “at the leading edge of electric mobility”.
JLR’s CEO Prof Dr Ralf Speth (pictured) said: “The future of mobility is electric and, as a visionary British company, we are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK. We are co-locating our electric vehicle manufacture, electronic drive units (EDU) and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands.”
Speth added: “Convenience and affordability are the two key enablers to drive the uptake of electric vehicles to the levels that we all need. Charging should be as easy as refuelling a conventional vehicle. Affordability will only be achieved if we make batteries here in the UK, close to vehicle production, to avoid the cost and safety risk of importing from abroad. The UK has the raw materials, scientific research in our universities and an existing supplier base to put the UK at the leading edge of mobility and job creation.”
JLR said the first new electric car to be produced at Castle Bromwich will be Jaguar’s flagship luxury saloon, the XJ.
Meanwhile, JLR said its new Battery Assembly Centre at Hams Hall, operational in 2020, “will be the most innovative and technologically advanced in the UK with an installed capacity of 150,000 units”.
Together with the Wolverhampton Engine Manufacturing Centre, home of JLR’s global EDU production, these facilities will power the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover models.