Tata Motors wants the UK government to spend more than £500 million ($594 million) to build a battery factory for Jaguar Land Rover. It could make the site in Spain if it doesn’t get the funds it wants.
British media outlets understand that Tata is pondering a partnership with Chinese battery maker Envision. This partnership would enable Tata to build and operate a Somerset, UK factory to supply Jaguar Land Rover’s forthcoming electric vehicles with the necessary batteries.
To make this happen, Tata is seeking more than £500 million in aid from the government, including grants and support packages as well as assistance for energy costs and research funding. It has given UK ministers weeks to pledge the required financial support.
“We . . . are engaging with them – whether or not the talks go anywhere depends on whether we can agree on a final amount,” a UK government official told The Telegraph.
The UK government has offered Jaguar Land Rover a more extensive funding package than its EU rivals. Still, the report said that high energy costs compared to European countries are a critical issue that needs to be addressed.
It would represent a significant investment for the country, and the UK government agreed to Tata’s demand. In fact, The Guardian reports that its ‘Automotive Transformation’ fund supporting the transition from combustion engines to electric cars is worth just £1 billion ($1.18 billion).
Jaguar Land Rover and Envision were on track to announce a partnership in Somerset last year to build a battery factory. Still, plans were delayed after Boris Johnson was replaced as prime minister.
The plan was delayed as Tata sought British government support for its UK steel business. £300 million ($356 million) has been proposed by the government to support the site.