Invest in Brexit Britain: Boris in talks with six firms to build electric car factories06/16/2021
UK needs 'fast charging electric car batteries' says McCarthy
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Among the firms are two of UK road users’ most popular car brands, Ford and Nissan, highlighting their commitment to British consumers. Major tech companies such as LG and Samsung are also looking for possible sites, while stat-up firms BritishVolt and Ino Bat Auto are also holding talks.
Experts warn the electric battery industry could start a war between the EU and UK with both sides looking to outgun each other.
Andy Palmer, Vice Chair of InoBat warns there is a “competition” between the sides which holds more than just pride.
He said: “There’s a de facto competition between the UK and Europe, and whoever wins the gigafactories wins the auto business.”
To win over firms, the UK Government has offered up to £500million to help finance battery plants.
They have also made electric car battery production a key part of Boris Johnson’s green revolution.
Meanwhile, the EU has assembled almost £3billion while some nations such as France and Germany have pledged even more money.
According to the Financial Times, Ford’s new plant would be used to ship batteries to Turkey.
This would be similar to Ford’s current plant where diesel engines made in Dagenham are shipped to the country.
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Ford said they will make a final decision on where to base battery development by 2023.
Instead of building a new site, Ford are likely to expand one of their current plants in the UK.
Nissan are said to be in later stage negotiations which could see the Government help finance a major new expansion to their Sunderland plant.
The new site is expected to produce 200,000 batteries a year and will create thousands of extra jobs for locals.
It is expected the new gigafactory could be opened by 2024 if a deal is agreed.
LG and Samsung are both thought to be in early stage talks over possible new production plants.
However, it seems both tech firms are only putting out feelers and are unlikely to invest unless they can secure a deal from car manufacturers to host their batteries.
However, this could come in the form of Jaguar Land Rover or Mini who are still not tied to battery partners.
Tesla has never officially ruled out putting a plant in the UK and rumours were reignited after a visit by boss Elon Musk.
The Tesla founder has yet to comment on the rumours but it is understood they are looking at a patch of land in Somerset for a new plant.
However, Tesla has already committed to an EU plant based in Berlin which could scupper any possibility of a UK factory.
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