UK gigafactory: JLR likely, Tesla less so
An existing commitment to UK EV plants is a lot more compelling than a conference platitude
This week has seen a surge of optimism for the future of both EV battery making — a sector in which, as recently as early May, Simon Moores, CEO of metals price reporting agency Benchmark Critical Minerals, told an influential parliamentary committee that the country “does not have a runner in the race” — and the wider UK automotive manufacturing industry.
The two major sources of optimism are a story by state broadcaster the BBC that India’s Tata Motors, owner of UK OEM Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), will soon announce that it is building a gigafactory in the UK rather than Spain; and Elon Musk, CEO of EV manufacturer Tesla, saying he would consider the country as location for a future plant. The EV inFocus view is that the excitement might be overdone — to a large extent Tata had already signalled its intentions in a strategy update in April, while we caution against reading anything into what we see as most likely a throwaway politeness by Musk.