Jaguar owner Tata Group to make electric-vehicle battery cells in Europe

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India’s oldest conglomerate, Tata Group, is planning to set up electric vehicle cell-manufacturing operations in Europe as it tries to accelerate its British marque unit’s shift to battery-powered cars.

Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors will be the anchor customers for the facility, which will also sell battery cells to the wider market, Tata Motors Chief Financial Officer P.B. Balaji said in an interview at the India Auto Expo taking place this week on the outskirts of New Delhi.

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“We are well covered on the production plans for batteries, but we will require some cell capacity coming into Europe,” Balaji said.

Tata is finalizing plans and will announce details soon, he said, declining to disclose the location of the facility and a time frame.

There will be a “lot of investments,” Balaji said, without elaborating.

The “intellectual property-heavy facility will produce two cell chemistries — lithium iron phosphate for Tata Motors’ EVs and nickel manganese cobalt for the Indian automaker as well as Jaguar Land Rover,” Balaji said.

The plan should help the company better control critical parts of the supply chain, which has faced disruptions globally during the COVI-19 pandemic. Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover benefit from being a part of larger ecosystem, the CFO said.

Jaguar Land Rover is based in the UK, where the car industry has struggled in the aftermath of Brexit and in making the switch to EVs. The country has failed to attract much investment in large-scale cell facilities, beyond one owned by China’s Envision Group.

Read more: Volkswagen takes aim at Tesla with six battery cell production plants in Europe

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