Jaguar Land Rover owner the Tata Group has announced plans to produce electric vehicle batteries in Europe.
Tata Motors chief financial officer PB Balaji confirmed the plans at Auto Expo 2023 in Delhi, India.
The plant, the location of which has not been yet disclosed, will primarily supply JLR and India-based Tata Motors but will also sell batteries to the wider market.
It will produce cells using two chemistries – lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) – with the latter earmarked for JLR, Balaji confirmed.
“We are well covered on the production plans for batteries, but we will require some cell capacity coming into Europe,” said Balaji.
The move could be a significant step towards ensuring Jaguar Land Rover complies with European ‘Rule of Origin’ regulations for electric vehicles, which become stricter from 2024.
The rules currently require at least 40% of the content in an electrified vehicle sold in the UK or EU to be sourced from the region, but become 5% tougher from next year.
For battery packs, this change will be more severe, with the minimum threshold for locally sourced content doubling from 30% of a pack’s total value to 60%.
JLR is poised for a radical reinvention as electrification dawns. Jaguar plans to completely relaunch with a trio of electric sports SUVs to challenge the likes of Bentley from 2025, a year after the first Range Rover EV arrives.
Although the Tata Group has announced the plant will supply the British firm, it did not specify which proportion of JLR’s total battery supply this will account for – nor did it give a date for the start of production.
Tata has yet to rule out the possibility that JLR will look to external suppliers. Bloomberg reported in May 2022 that the firm was in talks with Swedish cell maker Northvolt and the Germany-based unit of China’s Svolt. Such a deal would secure the supply of batteries for a range of electric vehicles to be built in its factory in Nitra, Slovakia, Bloomberg said.