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The UK is set to win a battle with Spain for the production of a multi-billion pound Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) electric vehicle battery plant, which could create up to 9,000 jobs.
The reports, revealed by the BBC today, say that although a deal has yet to be signed, sources have said that the engagement has moved from negotiations to drafting.
The flagship gigafactory would produce electric car batteries for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and has been touted as critical for the UK in staying competitive in the EV race.
Tata – JLR’s parent company – had been contemplating a site in Spain for the deal, but according to the BBC, is now expected to choose Somerset for its location.
It comes after the UK government faced warnings from Vauxhall-owner Stellantis last week, that unless post-Brexit trade deals are re-negotiated, the company could face closure of some of its factories due to higher tariffs coming into affect next year.
The company said that if the cost of producing EV’s in the UK “becomes uncompetitive and unsustainable, operations will close.”
The automotive sector has repeatedly warned that the UK is at risk of falling further behind in the EV race, if it does not improve its local electric battery making capacity.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was pressed on the UK’s EV strategy at the London Chamber of Commerce last week and insisted that the government remained “very focussed” on ensuring Britain improves its electric car production capacity.
“All I would say is watch this space because we are very focussed on making sure the UK gets that EV manufacturing capacity,” he said.
Both Jaguar and Tata were contacted for comment.
The Department for Business and Trade were contacted for comment.
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