Following Coventry Council’s approval for a Gigafactory to build batteries for electric cars in Coventry, Quadrant Smart spoke to Councillor Jim O’Boyle from Coventry City Council, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration.
Earlier in the year, Coventry City Council backed a joined venture partnership between the authority and Coventry Airport.
Speaking to Quadrant Smart, Councillor Jim O’Boyle explained, “we’re doing all we can to make [the Gigafactory] happen” and for it to be successful.
Developing Gigafactories are a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan. “We as a local authority we can do our bit, but ultimately national government have got to do their bit and let’s hope that they do,” Jim said.
Subject to successful discussions with carmakers and battery suppliers, a Gigafactory at Coventry Airport could be operational by 2025.
Having been identified as vital for the continued success of the automotive industry, the development of this Gigafactory will create thousands of ‘green jobs’ as well as attracting £2 billion of investment. It will also support the drive for Net-Zero.
“The potential in terms of having a Gigafactory in Coventry is enormous. It will create 4,000 direct jobs and anything up to 20,000 in indirect jobs through the supply chain. The potential, economically, is massive,” Jim explained.
Coventry: the ideal place to electrify the automotive industry
Not only will this help the area unlock massive economic opportunities, but the location for the Gigafactory is ideal. Coventry is “the birthplace of the motor industry, it still has an enormous automotive business within the area and its easily accessible, its right in the middle of the country,” said Jim.
Coventry City Council “want to encourage the take up of electrification,” explained Jim. The city is certainly taking electrification seriously as they “have got more electric vehicle charging points per head of population than anywhere in the country outside of London,” Jim added.
To go fully electric by that day is a massive challenge, not just for the UK automotive industry but for the world
Jim stressed the importance of this Gigafactory as “the UK automotive industry needs to phase out the internal combustion engines and the diesel engines, they will be no longer available for sale until 2030.”
“To go fully electric by that day is a massive challenge, not just for the UK automotive industry but for the world,” he explained. The development of Gigafactories in the country is a step in the right direction to electrify the automotive industry.